The London Report 2015, produced by the London Natural History Society, has everything you might want to know about a year of bird life in London. The book is well produced, illustrated by good, full colour photographs of birds.
Nick Rutter, the editor of the London Naturalist, reviews 2015, listing verified sightings of rare and less common birds, and commenting on migrants, residents and breeding activity. For example there were two verified breeding pairs of Red Kites. The report also contains highlights for each month.
A substantial section of the volume is devoted to a report of the species spotted within 20 miles of St Paul’s Cathedral. Approaching 2,000 people contributed to this systematic list. It includes reports from the 2015 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
It contains nine papers about birds in London from a variety of contributors. The topics covered range from a Ringing Report to ‘The rise and fall of the Ruddy Duck in the London Area’, and ‘Can Common Terns and Black-Headed gulls co-exist on rafts?’
Extracts from some of these can be found in the publications section of the Society’s website.
This is the 80th annual report and so comparisons can be made about which species are flourishing and which are declining over time. For example, the Peregrine Falcon is a ‘scarce but increasingly regular breeding resident and winter visitor’. There were four pairs present in 2004 rising to 25 in 2015, of which 16 were successful with 47 juveniles fledged.
This forms an important record of one facet of the wildlife inhabiting our capital city.
Published May 2017 by the London Natural History Society – £8.00. Free to members of the Society.