Do you know your nuthatch from your wood warbler? New book records all known bird species in County Durham

Keith Bowey and Paul Anderson along with members and authors from the Durham Bird Club Project launching their new book "Birds of Durham".
Keith Bowey and Paul Anderson along with members and authors from the Durham Bird Club Project launching their new book "Birds of Durham".
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A DEFINITIVE new book on birds and birdwatching in County Durham has been published.

Birds of Durham Heritage Project has published the book, The Birds of Durham, which details the history of birdwatching in the area and all 386 species that have been recorded.

Its covers the old County Durham area, which stretches from the River Tyne to the Tees, and was inspired by George W. Temperley’s A History of the Birds of Durham, published through the Natural History Society in 1951, which has been the standard point of reference for ornithologists.

Each entry in the new book features illustrations, photographs and data, and the team behind the guide is sure it will be used for generations to come.

Paul Anderson, the chairman of Durham Bird Club and one of the lead partners in the project, said: “This truly is a once-in-a lifetime experience.

“To create such a high-quality book that documents the history of every bird species recorded in Durham has, for a generation of ornithologists, been an ambition of the Durham Bird Club.

“It was only with the development of the Birds of Durham Heritage Project and the magnificent support of the Heritage Lottery Fund that a mechanism was created by which this aspiration might be so superbly realised.”

Mr Anderson added: “We are very proud of everybody that has contributed to this huge, collaborative effort.

“We trust the birdwatchers of the future will appreciate this work as much as we have so long appreciated the work of George Temperley and those others who went in advance of ourselves.”

More than 60 volunteers put in 10,000-plus hours to create the book, which is the last piece of work to be produced by the two-year-long Birds of Durham Heritage project, which was backed by a £30,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Others activities the cash helped pay for were lectures, guided walks, the construction of nine information panels, a host of online resources and a short film which told the story of bird heritage.

In addition to the Durham Bird Club, the project brought together the Durham Upland Bird Study Group, Durham Wildlife Trust, the Natural History Society of Northumbria and Teesmouth Bird Club.

The book costs £30 plus £10 postage and packaging, with order forms available to download from

They can then be posted to Allan Rowell, 18 Hill View Road, Sunderland, SR2 9JY.

The website also lists sales days being held across County Durham.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham