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Old Saturday 2nd November 2002, 22:45   #1
Steve
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Magazines

Does Anyone Buy Or Subscribe To Birdwatch Or Birdwatching?
what do you Think? Value for Money Or Same Old same Old?
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Old Tuesday 5th November 2002, 19:59   #2
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Steve

I buy both magazines and have done so virtually since I started birding in 1995. I do enjoy reading them but I must admit that, in my opinion, they are a bit expensive, especially Birdwatch. Birdwatching is better value than the other.

Octobers Birdwatch contained 68 pages (if you include the front and back cover) and within those 68 pages, at a cost of 3.20p and there were equal to 21 pages of adverts . Birdwatching at a cost of 2.95 is 108 pages long (40 more than Birdwatch and cheaper by 25p) with 28 pages of adverts.

I have learnt a lot from these two publications but am seriously thinking of just buying Birdwatching.

Regarding content. I do think that trips abroad could be covered on the cheaper end of the market. Not many birders can afford these tour guide type holidays (I know I can't) and articles by birders that have information regarding areas that can be easily reached, together with excellent birding, should be nurtured.

I know that Birdwatching does cover UK sites in fairly good detail with their Go Birding supplement but even that could have an article each week by a visiting birder to one of these sites
that gives an actual insight into what can be found, where they had been etc.

Magazines, like these, can't please everyone but I do think that they should look long and hard at the current content.

I don't know, what do other members think?

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Old Tuesday 5th November 2002, 22:26   #3
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Sorry to keep banging the 'British Birds' drum, but the high street mags, appear to just keep turning out the same old stuff on a fairly regular cycle, its great for a new birder keen to learn and pick up information, however, once you have decided on your niche, I think the more serious works really stand out, both in terms of developing knowledge and production quality.

Otherwise, join the BTO and get the scientific view point with their excellent bulletin and support surveys and other study projects at the same time.

Just a thought

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Old Wednesday 6th November 2002, 07:56   #4
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I subscribe to them both, but only because I couldn't find a reliable source locally to buy them each month.

I really enjoy Birdwatching, which is by far the better of the two. The content and quality of the magazine is of a higher standard and appertains more to my interests. Having said that, I've enjoyed the atricles recently in Birdwatch, by Andy Bright, but would have preferred them to be longer and in more depth. Which sums up the whole magazine. I probably won't renew the subscription to that one.

I prefer the popular style of the magazines and as has been mentioned by Camberley red, if you want a little more then there is always the likes of Bird Study by the BTO or join the RSPB to get the Birds magazine, which falls somewhere in the middle.
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Old Wednesday 6th November 2002, 14:11   #5
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I'd like my articles in Birdwatch to be far, far longer with many more pics
I think the detail allowed in my articles is far greater than most magazines would want, most just skimming the subject. I did submit a longish article on the subject of 'optional extras' but they just cut it in half and will use it for two issues (which at least gives me a month off!) They can only devote about a page a month.... they've got to leave room for the birding holidays
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Old Sunday 10th November 2002, 21:27   #6
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I've been subscribing to Birdwatching for several years now and find it an excellent read. However, I agree with the others about the overweight emphasis on holidays abroad! I'd like to see them expand the "local" side of things.

Their identification guides are excellent; a shame they didn't think to include them as a "part-work" to "cut out and keep"! Carting around several dozen copies of the mag gets a bit tiresome when you're in the field! :)
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2002, 17:00   #7
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I prefer Birdwatching to Birdwatch, it seems better value for money as outlined above but after several years I agree with the opinion that they are turning out the same thing at each season. Although to be fair, Birdwatching does have a great Sightings section and local reserves spotlight.


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Old Tuesday 12th November 2002, 19:32   #8
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Do you think anyone from Birdwatch is lurking here and if so do you think that will take any notice. I hope so for their sake. It's a shame as the magazine is well turned out, cosmetically, but could do with a facelift material wise.
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2002, 19:48   #9
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I expect someone from one of the mags is lurking around somewhere John!



Anyhow, I want members to cast their minds back a few years. Well, about ten years actually.

One of the birding mags of the day (1992) gave away a little black book, sponsored by Leica, with the January issue of their magazine. Basically, the book was a systematic list of birds of Britain and Europe, and you could tick the birds off as you saw them. Mine came in extremely handy, and after five years, I had completely decimated mine, filling it with every bird sighting of those five years, plus drawings and phone numbers and things.

Since then, I've seen nothing like it, but would dearly love to get my hands on a few more of them. If anyone knows of their existence or whereabouts, I'd be most grateful to hear from you.

Thank you.

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Old Tuesday 12th November 2002, 20:44   #10
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little black books

Funnily enough, earlier today, I was hunting high and low for a little book published by the BTO and given away (last year, I think) with Birdwatching mag. The reason I was looking for it was to dispute Colin's claim to 600 on his British list (see Avatar postings), cos I've got a feeling that the BTO British list is under 300!

But that's by-the-by. Hopefully BW will continue to promote this handy little booklet!



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Old Tuesday 12th November 2002, 22:00   #11
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Would those be the field list booklets Monkeyman......
you can buy them from BTO - short list 50p, field list 95p.

318 listed in the filed list and 187 in the short list.

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Old Saturday 16th November 2002, 17:54   #12
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Sounds familiar . . . will let ya know when I find it!

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Old Saturday 16th November 2002, 18:36   #13
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Cool Magazines

Speaking as a newcomer to this lark, I get both magazines because there is so much I don't know. I agree with the general view that Birdwatching is superior. The layout, photographs and subject matter give it the edge. I like the combination of general interest stuff (evolution of birds from fossils), gizmo stuff (review of the latest scopes) and the Go Birding section. And of particular interest to me are the many identification hints and UK sightings. Now, how expert do you have to be to find this boring or beneath you? The feature distinguishing Chaffinches from Bramblings was excellent, as was the article on Ruffs.

I can't see why any of this should pall, even if you consider yourself to be a cut above. After all, I read all the newspapers every day and get very different things on the same story from The Sun and The Daily Telegraph, for example. They just have a different take on things.
 
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Old Saturday 16th November 2002, 21:52   #14
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Peter

I buy both magazines as well but if you read my earlier post in this thread you will see my idea on why Birdwatch isn't as good a value read as Birdwatching. It is based around cost as Birdwatch is more expensive than Birdwatching and yet Octobers edition had 40 pages less than Birdwatching plus 30% of those pages were adverts compared to the 25% of Birdwatching.

There are other things that need improving in my opinion but as you say, it is all relevant to the readers needs. There isn't a magazine that will ever satisfy all of the needs of the birdwatchers who buy it.
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2002, 21:35   #15
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John J

I did read your earlier posting, and I quite agree with your analysis. As for advertisements, however, I must be quite sad - I like them! I find them quite useful for picking up the feel of different products and organisations. I even got the web site address for this forum that way...........
 
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2002, 22:07   #16
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Peter

Don't get me wrong regarding adverts. I too like them but I was just stating a fact that one magazine tends to cut down on pages relating to actual birding topics in favour of adverts. Final analysis of a 68 page publication devoting 30% of its pages to adverts, to me, seems over the top a bit.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2002, 08:55   #17
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It's a question of economics, JohnJ. If the mags couldn't raise income from advertising, then the cover price would go up! Adverts, unfortunately, are a necessary evil.

Birdwatching will always come out on top for me, regardless of the ads/editorial split (where most publications strive for a 40/60!) due to its good design, intelligent layout of sections and well-written and knowledgeable articles!.

Could be worse . . . somebody might invent the "pop-up" magazine ad (like those horrible ones you get on the web!) and then where will you be? :)


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Old Wednesday 20th November 2002, 18:46   #18
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I realise it is down to economics but Octobers Birdwatching was 25p cheaper, 40 pages longer and only 25% adverts. Somebody has got there economics right and someone not so good.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2002, 22:44   #19
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QED

BTW: d'ya know where I can get one of those new Hubble telescopes? I've heard that they're pretty spectacliar! I've tried in all the High Street stores, but can find one anywhere!

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Old Thursday 21st November 2002, 15:07   #20
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MM:You could try NASA, but i hear the're a bit on the expensive side, put it on your Santa list, you just never know
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Old Thursday 21st November 2002, 15:25   #21
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Just catching up with the earlier postings, (backwards i read), The BOU british species list currently stands at 564, there are many other species that have been recorded in britain that are not on the official list, so 600+ birds seen in Britain could be possible.
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Old Thursday 21st November 2002, 20:39   #22
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What an interesting thread to read. I have bought both on and off but have subscribed to Birdwatching for a number of years now.

Not too sure about Birdwatch but Birdwatching does periodically ask its readers what their current thoughts are and do act accordingly.

Interestingly if any of you are involved in a bird club, Dave Cromack (Editor) gives an excellant presentation on the evoloution of a magazine. He came to the Nar Valley Ornithological Society several months back and the feedback from membership was superb.

I agree the magazine lacks technical content but it fills a niche. There is British Birds as a stepping stone, or as El Annie pointed out the BTO.

Recent Sightings is the best you will get in print. Keep up the good work EMAP!

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Old Sunday 24th November 2002, 23:28   #23
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OK, my four-penny-worth coming up (no idea what that is in Euros [isn't that a statue in Piccadilly {London}?]). I used to subscribe to both Birdwatch & Birdwatching, but when work & I parted company, they regrettably had to go, as did British Birds and Birding World. I've recently moved to Norfolk, and re-subscribed to the latter two, as I feel they are essential for in-depth information and complement each other. I bought a copy of Bird Watching recently, but felt it was only so-so - no complaint about the mag, it just didn't meet my current needs. I've not yet had a chance to investigate BirdWatch, which I recall I used to prefer 'back in the old days'. I'm also wondering about subscribing to 'Dutch Birding', which I believe has had good press in the past (anyone here subscribe, and if so could they let me know their opinions? TIA).

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Old Monday 25th November 2002, 15:47   #24
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Web magazine...

Does anyone bother with Birds of Britain, I think it's pretty good and it's free!!

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Old Monday 25th November 2002, 18:16   #25
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I agree Annie, Birds of Britain is a pretty good site to keep popping in to. I'd forgotten about it until you reminded me !
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