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Post Info TOPIC: NEW BIRD BOOKS


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RE: NEW BIRD BOOKS


May I shamelessly plug 'I-Spy Birds' published by Michelin.
At a very modest 2.50 it's aimed at children under 10 as a way of teaching them about birds in a fun way.
Available at Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith and all good bookstores.

blush.gif Oh, did I mention it contains several photographs by yours truly?

Anthony

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and Conwy RSPB - they've got stacks of them!

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Collins 2nd edition on sale at Old Moor RSPB Reserve today.

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Excellent addition to the thread Sean,FORSMAN is indeed an excellent book, but just like the GULLS book the first printing was a mess.

Collins new 2nd Edition is now available from Wildsound.

Keep Birding

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I read most of the blogs on the Cheshire Atlas and future Manchester Atlas with interest. I agree that the Cheshire Atlas may look a little crude when compared with other atlas's with its brightly coloured spots on squares etc. But it held important information that was placed into a wonderful book overall and I aplaud that. Although I've lived up in North Manchester for about 10 years I am a Chester lad born and bred and I grew up with the original Atlas. Any comments on recent atlas work should be put in perspective, as the Cheshire Atlas still compares well as one of the best County Atlas works in the UK and as such, will shine on a world scale, as we are the best at producing these things afterall!?

I must admit though that I was surprised that no mention of the 'Manx Bird Atlas' Sharpe et al (2007) was brought up in the blogs. I purchased this atlas last year for a bargain 30 online (as the usual price is 60!). It is similar in structure and layout to previous BTO UK and Ireland Breeding Atlas books, but has taken a new approach to the maps, which has a topographical style which allows you to see the landscape of the areas where birds are found, ie hills, flat plains etc. It also has line-style pictures rather than photos which I like and the overall information within the background and introduction sections and main species accounts is excellent. I have still not managed to get over to the Isle of Man, but hope to in 2010 and with the information within this book I think I have a head start on the island and think the hard work put in to this publication was well worth it.

Before anyone cries about funding etc, I know they got lots of money and even paid people to complete surveys, which is unheard of for any other regional atlas project, but it is simply a classy book and one I read with interest everytime I pick it up. It for me is the benchmark that any County or regional atlas should be compared to.

PS. Any people reflecting the large size of Atlas's must question why they have them, they are not field guides and so the bigger the better, as it allows clearer viewing of maps and means text does not have to be shortened or clipped to fit to smaller sizes. As with most birders, I have a seperate shelf for these big ones, that go along side other great titles such as the Migration Atlas, some of the Handbook of the Birds of World volumes, old BTO atlas's, helm guides and various avifauna publications from the UK and across world. smile.gif

Bring on the GM Bird Atlas!?

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I pick up books most months, but don't generally place comments on the forum, but felt I should for one I purchased a month or two back that I have been enjoying since. It is 'Raptors - A Field Guide For Surveys and Monitoring', Hardey et al, Second Edition (Sept 09). As a surveyor it is essential to keep up to date with methods and techniques for particular species of raptors that may be present in areas I am surveying or form the main reason I am surveying a particular location. As with many publications, it was 4 months late off the press, but well worth the wait. wink.gif

It has updated all species accounts including new sections on feather identification, taken from another excellent book (Feathers: identification for bird conservation - Ciesak & Dul, 2006), which I bought earlier in the year. The guide covers the status of each species and also incorporates new research papers and photos that bring it bang up to date for any avid raptor enthusiast or surveyer. It includes al the Owl species and also has a section on chick development, that offers an insight into the nesting birds and chicks that most people do not have a chance to see first hand. It ends with an up to date set of tables for each species covering Britain and Ireland, outlining trends and current population estimates.

As with the first edition it also comes with a cracking CD of raptor calls, which has been updated and is a good listen on long drives to sites!? biggrin.gif

Coupled with the excellent 'The Raptors of Europe and the Middle East' - Dick Forsman (2007), you have a great combination to identify and survey all UK raptors and possible foriegn visitors. smile.gif

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Nik Grounds wrote:


Collins Bird Guide: Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd edition Hardback now showing on WHSmiths website as being released on 26/11/09 16.25. Paperback 07/01/10 11.69.

Wait and see I suppose.




Thanks for this info Nick.

Just ordered one from WH Smiths. Still 16.25 for the hardback version, which is a whacking 35% discount off the suggested price of 25. Free delivery as well, or you can have it sent to a WHS branch of your choice.

The proposed publication date is now 7th Jan (was that a pig that just went over?)

Cheers, John

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Next up for me, although not strictly a book unless I print it all out, is British Birds Interactive then the 2nd edition Collins Birds guide. I'm especially interested in how it will treat these made up herring gull species dizzy.gif



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Ian.

Bush Warblers ,Kennerley & Pearson due out April 2010, priced at 60...

A/C Blacks are offering it at 45 if you pre-order.


Keep birding




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Very happy to read the comments about the Cheshire Atlas, so that I get an idea of what's coming. However it has made me change my Christmas present strategy. I'll have to ask the son who's not getting me the book to buy my wife and I a much stronger coffee table for Christmas. And my wife will have to present me with a gym membership, after all I'd like to be able to lift the book. And if the book is really that big, the son who is getting me the book will start complaining about the amount of wrapping paper it takes to cover it!

Seriously though, I'd like to thank Steve for bringing this offer to our attention. I'll have cause to remember the origins of one 'Christmas' present this year.biggrin.gif

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Big is beautiful! Even though I am a wearer of glasses - I would still like to think that my eyesight is somewhat better than Mr Magoo's!wink.gif... but, how often have you looked at tiny breeding distribution maps in past atlases and been totally unable to differentiate the three different sized dots that are supposed to represent confirmed, probable and possible breeding! Some atlases have maps that quite frankly are almost worthless - if they are unintelligible, then really what is the point of having them? The Cheshire's atlas maps scores highly on clarity. Another excellent feature of the Cheshire atlas are the maps showing gains and losses between the current and the last atlas - a simple but brilliant (and colourful!) presentation of data by the use of three colour codes.

I do agree that any book should be (in part!) judged on its content. However, in my opinion content alone is just not enough.....it is very important that facts, figures and data are presented in a readable, understandable and interesting manner. Many bird books flounder on these criteria, even though they may be totally spot on with content. The Cheshire atlas has succeeded thumbsup.gifwhere others have struggled or failed. thumbsdown.gif

Oh and last but no means least, another first-rate feature....the excellent watercolours by Ray Scally.

Keep atlasing!

Bill.


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Re: Cheshire atlas, I think it was designed to be the same size as the BTO breeding/winter and migration atlases

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Sounds like value for money to me then

Books to me though Paul are there for one reason only. Reading. Therefore I break the spines over my knee so I can get the pages to lie flat, I write notes and additional info that might have been missed directly onto the pages. My own Collins guide is unrecognisable, acutally bursting with stapled in identification notes and covered in scribbles of further features. Similarly my monthly publications (Birding World, BB and Dutch Birding) get torn to bits and decent features stapled together and placed in a respective file.

I have a friend (it is Andy Makin in fact ) who atleast used to remove the dust jackets off his books so he didn't damage them! And another who wouldn't let me open the pages of his county reports I was using for reference beyond a couple of inches incase it damaged the spine (while I'm telling on everyone it was Woosey ). What's that all about I have lots of books Paul, but only the ones I really need though I have to admit to buying 'a field guide to the nests, eggs and nestlings of British and European Birds' (superb information on incubation times, brood numbers etc) and Jonsson's Birds of lake, river, marsh and field from a charity book shop in Lancaster last week as they were both 2.50. Don't know what I'll do with the Jonsson though, probably a beautifully illustrated coffee cup coaster on my desk

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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A quart inch bigger than Birds Britannica and an extra hundred pages.

As for Collins A4 mega tome, its rather fun to carry around at a twitch.

Love the Ian McKerchars devils advocate, you couldn,t care less about books, your collins is one on its own.

Keep Birding

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I confess (unashamedly) to not having seen the Cheshire Atlas but am surprised that comments about it's size seem to be so prevelant. As it's not the sort of book which to take out into the field I'd have thought the bigger the better? Standing out as an oddment on your bookself Paul, is this how we measure the thing Those who have the Collins field guide may also have the larger edition which much more suitably displays the beautiful artwork an enables clearer viewing of the maps and reading of the text, so often and certainly in some circumstances, bigger is better (and increased value for money?). I've never heard complaints about the size of images before either, surely if they're of a excellent quaility (as I assume these will have been) then the bigger the more beautiful? Personally, as the sort of book which would for me be used on the desk for research etc (and not on the knee as it sounds like it might cut your circulation off!) I'd rather it was big. The I might not have to put my readers on.

With all that said however, just how big is the blighter? Are we talking Collins larger edition, BWP, Birds Britannica?

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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MR Barber nice to hear from you, yes without a doubt the content and work put into it, is outstanding, and all involved should be proud to have produced a piece of history.

Its just a shame, that on the shelf it stands out as an oddment compare to the other ones.


Keep Birding.

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As a minor member of the production team I've been interested to read the various comments on the 'Birds in Cheshire and Wirral' posted here. My own view is that over time the value of the book will be judged primarily on its content.

Judith is correct to say that there has been substantial financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This support however is not just for the book. Under the terms of the grant CAWOS is currently setting up an educational programme with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

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I completely agree about the size - would make an adequate coffee table itself! I'm sure GM could produce a more bijou version.

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Regarding the Birds in Cheshire book, I was wondering why it had to be so big, it would certainly break most coffee table,

Its a very bright colourful tome, but do we need such large photos of teal etc, as for the maps, I thought they were life sizebiggrin.gif

The 1900Coward and Oldham copy feels right, the 1963 T-Hedley Bell with its supplement is the perfect size.

I just feel that the hard slog of recording, etc has been outshone by colour photos and bright colours.

Russell Slacks Rare Birds is a format that is pleasing to the eye and nice to handle.

Keep reading.


ps I am a complete (fill in as you wish) on this subject, so I make no apologisebiggrin.gif

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...but this might be a way of redeeming themselves!

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The way Peel Holdings have gone about destryoing plenty of good birding sites Stev would probably rule them out i'd guess!

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It seems as though the National Lottery Fund was the main contributor to the Cheshire Atlas but also local councils, United Utilities, Forestry Commission, RSPB etc. In the more highly populated GM there would be plenty of scope for business sponsorship; Peel Holdings would be a strong possibility as they own much of GM!
The coloured page edges were a clear way of distinguishing breeding from winter accounts while keeping breeding and winter information for each species together. There may be more aesthetic ways of achieving this.
Steve

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They did get a very substantial grant (in 5 figures I heard) towards its production. Personally I thought the layout with the coloured edges rather garish.

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Judith Smith __________________________________ Lightshaw hall Flash is sacrosanct - NO paths please!


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Richard, Steve C and Paul H.

Re your previous posts on the Birds in Cheshire and Wirral Atlas.

Just goes to show you how much opinions might vary between individuals on the forum!

In my humble opinion this is the best atlas type book that I have ever read. I actually
read reading.gifevery single word from cover to cover - admittedly over several months! The species accounts are clear and beautifully written, with most species write-ups having interesting snippets of info that can only help with your fieldcraft. To me it set a benchmark of what all future atlases must aspire to! I echo Steve Christmas's sentiments that if the proposed GM Breeding birds atlas (a few years away yet I'm afraid though!) can get anywhere near to this standard, then we will be doing very well indeed!

To me it was excellent value at full price and is an absolute bargain at half price!! nod.gifnod.gif

Keep atlasing!

Bill.

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Hi Richard,
I'll PM you about this.
Steve

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Richard,
www.liverpool-unipress.co.uk

4 Cambridge street liverpool.

0151 794 2233.

Heavy tome, and to be honest a bit disappointing.

good luck.

Keep Birding

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FAO Steve Christmas

Can you let me know where to access the half-price Cheshire atlas offer?

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Ian, you cannot postpone the yuletide reading mattersmile.gif

Pete excellent book you will enjoy it, perhaps it may give you the idea to year list in GM.

Ian your equally excellent tome will be superb Easter reading matter, to be enjoyed with your egg.


Keep reading.



ps anyone who is thinking of buying The running sky please PM me.

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Pete Astles wrote:

Just got my xmas day reading sorted -






I have postponed my own until April next year (hopefully), Reed and Bush Warblers by Peter Kennerley and David Pearson (with artwork by Brian Small). The definative treatment of Urosphena, Cettia, Bradypterus, Locustella, Acrocephalus and Hippolais and my kind of reading.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Just got my xmas day reading sorted - Arrivals and Rivals search for the winning bird got it new off ebay for about 6.



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Paul Heaton wrote:

Top 100 places in the world .

mega size book 35 new, but the Works in Altringham have 2 copies left at 6.99.

keep birding






I snapped up their last copy the other day. Thanks for the tip-off Paul. What a bargain for a wonderful book!

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'Birds in Cheshire and Wirrall, a breeding and wintering atlas' by David Norman (2008) is currently available half price (22.50) from Liverpool University Press. It would be great if the proposed GM atlas is as comprehensive as this.
P.S. I declare I have no financial interest in this book.

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I recall the first edition having a few problems, the index proving to be a nightmare, loads of stuff missing, and they had to be recalled as for 2nd edition, wildsounds newsletter says,

AS FOR REVISION EXPECT MUCH CONTROVERSY.WILL BE USEFUL AS A YULETIDE GAME OF FIND THE DIVERS?

I assume things are missing, lets wait and see!

Keep birding

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Recieved this e-mail regarding the new Collins today

"Unfortunately, the release date for the item(s) listed below was changed by the supplier, and we need to provide you with a new estimated delivery date based on the new release date:

Lars Svensson (Author), et al "Collins Bird Guide"
Estimated arrival date: January 13 2010 - January 15 2010 "


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I have just added two new tomes to the 200 Club library,

RARE BIRDS WHERE AND WHEN BY RUSSELL SLACK. VOL 1

BIRDS NEW TO NORFOLK KEITH DYE MICK FISZER PETER ALLARD.

Excellent books, cannot wait for Vol 2 of rare birds.


Keep birding



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John Rayner wrote:

Nik Grounds wrote:

Paul Heaton wrote:



Collins due out very soon.



I'd heard that Collins Bird Guide: Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd edition had been delayed again. Rumours of backstage 'difficulties' over artwork.

The Birding World 'Books for Birders' catalogue now gives a date of Jan 2010 for the softback version.

Cheers, John








Collins Bird Guide: Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd edition Hardback now showing on WHSmiths website as being released on 26/11/09 16.25. Paperback 07/01/10 11.69.

Wait and see I suppose.

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Paul Heaton wrote:

Gentlemen please, I have a very tender disposition.

My all means start a recipe thread on another website, but please spare me the gory details.

still finding The Running Sky hard work !

keep birding






Aah, such a shame we can't have a recipe thread......I was just about to reveal the secret ingredients in my tasty home-made Parrot and Coriander soup! wink.gif

Cheers,

Bill



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just to please Paul...

I've tried Ostrich but found it just too lean, you cannot beat a bit of fat running through your meat. Pheasant happens to be a huge favourite of mine and replaces Turkey over Christmas for us (other than the Indian we're booked in for on Christmas Day this year).

As for other species I'll eat 'em all. Partridge, Duck (another ex-Christmas Day meal for us), Snipe, Woodcock, Mute Swan, Goose (vagrant hutchinsii Canada Goose please, rather that than identify the buggers), Ortolan Bunting, Blue Tit, Pallas's Reed Bunting, Pacific Swift... bring 'em on.

Now how close was that Great Northern Diver at Hollingworth coming to the shoreline...

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Gentlemen please, I have a very tender disposition.

My all means start a recipe thread on another website, but please spare me the gory details.

still finding The Running Sky hard work !

keep birding

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Ostrich steak is very tastey - similar to Reindeer !

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Reading 'The Running Sky' at the moment. I was initially put off, not by the Woodcock by which time the book improved no end (I'm sure it was as delicious as Snipe!), but by his purple prose in the opening chapter. You just want the guy to stop straining for the next exotic simile before the ink is dry on the last one. Persevere though and the book is richly rewarding.

That gives me an idea - think I might start a recipe thread!

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As the Art of New Naturalists is new out, not heard any news of a paperback edition yet, it is priced at 60 but Amazon are selling it at 35.

Glad you enjoyed Birdscape interesting slant on birding.

keep Birding

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ART of the New Naturalists - Peter Marren.

Do you know if this is available in paperback? Looks fascinating. There's an exhibition of a lot of the artwork at the Pinkfoot Gallery in Cley (google it) and an excellent downloadable catalogue.

Finally finished "Birdscapes", a most entertaining meander around the subject of why we like birds - with a name-check for Hilda Quick to boot!

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I am afraid I have had to abandon The Running Sky by Tim Dee, I am sure it,s a good read, however I was very put off by page 27 and the graphic details he recalls of EATING Woodcock, bit to gruesome for mebleh.gif

Then in the September Chapter he recalls two trips to Fair Isle then I he says..
I pretty much gave up birding for ten years!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whats that about? Apparently he was interested in reading and human politics while living in Budapest and London.

I much prefer ART of the New Naturalists Peter Marren Robert Gillmor. a mega Tome giving the full history of the famous covers on the New Nat series.

never give up.

KEEP BIRDING

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Just picked up from the works in Bolton a great book for 9.99 should have been 25.00
Bird. The ultimate illustrated guide to the birds of Britain and Europe
By peter hayman and Rob Hume.

Its a hardback big size. As a result it contains lots of drawings and photograph for each bird and a bit of biography on each bird. In some instances its better than collins for ID purposes


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Andy, nice choice...however the old book thread might have been best, two classic books, have them both and agree excellent read.

To compliment Simon Barnes book try Minsmere portrait of a reserve Herbert Axell and Eric Hosking.

Keep readingsmile.gif

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Was about to start my own thread on book recommendations when I saw this one. Now that the dark nights are here again, it's time to settle down with a hot book and a good drink (or something like that). I have three to commend, but I can see that 'A Bird in the Bush' by Stephen Moss has already been done, so here's my other two.

'Flying in the Face of Nature' - Simon Barnes. This predates his 'Bad birdwatcher'

books and is far superior to either of those. I don't think we have a more outspoken

voice for conservation at the moment, and he is certainly on song with his points of

view in this book. It is subtitled 'A Year in Minsmere Bird Reserve', but this does not

restrict the range of his deliberations on birds, birdwatching and natures place in a

modern world.

The second is simply streets ahead of anything else I've read which has had birds as

its main theme. 'A Curlew in the foreground' by Philip Coxon is just a magic book

which transports you to the island of North Uist. It tells of the growing pains of the

fledgling RSPB as they try to set up a reserve on the island. It's all here, the birds,

the people, the atmosphere of the island, and told in a such a way as to make you

want to visit Uist youself (which I did after reading this). Some of the situations that

arose and the characters the writer (who was the warden) met on the Island are

hilarious yet poignant.

If you do read this book (or already have), please let me know what you think.


Cheers,

Andy

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Cheers Geoff, not really a telegraph reader, but this book looks good.

will attempt to purchase a copy myself for the 200 club library.


keep Birding

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Just ordered a book to be Published on the 24th

The Running Sky. by Tim Dee pub Jonathan Cape 16.99.

Best deal I found is W H Smith online 10.87 HB - PP free if collect at the local store. Better than Amazon PB after postage.

Anyone read the extract in last Sats. telegraph?

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Top 100 places in the world .

mega size book 35 new, but the Works in Altringham have 2 copies left at 6.99.

keep birding

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