We're well into putting together the Summer 2012 issue of Birds at the moment. It's a strange time actually because while I'm thinking up places to go, things to do and wildlife to look out for to tell you about in the April-July period covered by that issue, the Christmas decorations are up.
On the 7 January, the Spring issue of Birds will be on its way out to our more than one million readers and before you get your copy, I wanted to give you a few clues into what the subjects of the four big features are in the guise of something you see a lot of at this time of year - Christmas quizzes. Don't worry, it shouldn't take you more than five minutes or so to crack the not particularly difficult clues. It is Christmas after all!
That's just the main features - there's lots more coming up including our revamped news pages (I might be biased but I think they look fab - let us know what you think), what you've been up to in our Mailbox and Stepping Up - your stories pages and Wildabout full of seasonal wildlife-watching advice.
We've also got a brand new section in the pipeline that we're preparing for the Summer issue at the moment, which I know is going to be a big hit. Readers have been asking for this to be covered by Birds for a while now - and it is going to be our pleasure to give it to you! More to come on that - I don't want to spoilt the surprise too early...
Post a comment below if you'd like to and I'll let you know if you're right about the little quiz questions above. You'll need to be registered on the RSPB community to do so.
You may have read in a previous post about my sighting of an osprey here at The Lodge and the fact that Joel was away and missed out on a bird he really wanted to see for the first time ever. Well, said osprey stayed for more than a month and has become, I believe, the latest ever osprey seen in the UK. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!
Last Friday, the two of us set out to try to catch up with it in our lunchbreak and catch up we did! I was really pleased for Joel as we got great views of this young bird circling overhead and moving between the various lakes below The Lodge in the Ivel Valley (and the trout farm where it has become a celebrity among the local fishermen). Another unseasonable sight was a common darter dragonfly. suggesting that there is definitely something strange going on with the weather so far this 'winter' (which, let's face it has been like autumn so far).
The osprey does seem to have finally moved on, last being reported on Sunday. We wish it well on its journey to West Africa where it will spend winter.
Back on Birds, we sent the next issue to the printers today and I'll be posting some teasers and spreads on this blog between now and when we mail in January.