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Post Info TOPIC: NEW BIRD BOOKS


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NEW BIRD BOOKS


Paul A Brown wrote:

If you are a subscriber to Birdguides and or Birdwatch it is available for £115 





Great thanks for that Paul. I am a Birdguides subscriber. Free UK postage too. For those who are not you can get it for £119

-- Edited by Tim Wilcox on Monday 30th of July 2018 09:43:35 AM

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Just for interest sake one of my shots of Black Redstart at The Little Orme is featured in the new guide thats being featured below :) which was a honor for me to allow them to use it  :) So Mancy birders is represented in there somewhere :)



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 29th of July 2018 07:59:42 PM

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If you are a subscriber to Birdguides and or Birdwatch it is available for £115 



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Paul Heaton wrote:

Well... The new  Handbook of the Western Palearctic photographic guide By Hadoram Shirihai & Lars Svensson tis a mighty collection of wonderful photos , going to take a while to fully peruse and take in all it has to offer, the price seems to be between £130 and £115 on various offers, and maybe cheaper still at the bird fair in August.

 

You can never have enough books or new information on birds .

 

Keep Birding





Where have you seen it for £115 Paul? £150 seems to be the rrp and £130 (plus postage) from NHBS is the cheapest Ive seen.

NB all this two volume work is just on passerines

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Well... The new  Handbook of the Western Palearctic photographic guide By Hadoram Shirihai & Lars Svensson tis a mighty collection of wonderful photos , going to take a while to fully peruse and take in all it has to offer, the price seems to be between £130 and £115 on various offers, and maybe cheaper still at the bird fair in August.

 

You can never have enough books or new information on birds .

 

Keep Birding



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Mike, its's a good book as are other  bird names books including  Biographies and Birdwatchers Barbara and Richard Mearns ,The Oxford Book of British names W B Lockwood and Whose Bird Bo Beolens and Michael Watkins 



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I haven't read every post on this thread but during a quick scan I didn't see:-

Mrs Moreau's Warbler by Stephen Moss

If you have any interest in bird names and their origins, this might be the book for you.
I'm certainly enjoying reading it and have recommended it to a good number of friends.

BTO Review - www.bto.org/about-birds/book-reviews/mrs-moreaus-warbler-how-birds-got-their-names

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Swifts in a Tower David Lack, has long been a difficult book to get, first edition prices been a tad high but NHBS booksellers have with a lottery grant published a New Fully updated edition and its excellent.

 

As for the forth coming Birds of the Western Palearctic 2 volume bt Shirihai Hadoram er al awaiting delivery of this promised to be exciting photographic guide .

 

Keep Birding 



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Note that the book "Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona" is now available FREE online as an e-book

https://issuu.com/livinginfutureecologies/docs/fruitful_futures_imagining_pomona

"Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona" is a book about Pomona on Salford Docklands, the result of a number of years of work looking at this very interesting urban landscape from an ecological point of view, a collaboration of 30 people, ecologists, local people, academics and students, each sharing their own view of the site, from it's very interesting heritage as Cornbrook Pleasure Gardens and Pomona Docks (the Guinness Docks) to the recent years as an "unofficial peoples' nature reserve" to visions of what Pomona Docks could be

There is still huge interest in the heritage, present and future of this area, and this was shown in the big crowd that turned up for the launch of this book in October 2016

Thank you to all my co-authors on this book, including Luke Blazejewski (Nature In Salford), Professor Stuart Marsden (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Hayley Flynn (Skyliner Tours) and to Gaia for publishing this book and making it available for free online

https://youtu.be/IzJhJ2QLWNU

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Nick Hilton wrote:

Took delivery of the new "Gulls of the World, A Photographic Guide, Klaus Malling Olsen" in the week. I've only had a general thumb through but really looks excellent, its a good size (even potentially for taking into the field, its smaller than its 2004 sister guide).

There is a decent review on Dutch Birding, they point out a few issues but generally a favourable review, its all relative !

https://www.dutchbirding.nl/recensies/1445/gulls_of_the_world_a_photographic_guide





Not had the opportunity to do much Gulling this week due to the atrocious conditions around Manchester, and making sure the restaurants got their stuff, and also a pre-planned (weeks ago) trip to Cornwall yesterday evening was abandoned yesterday afternoon, we gave it every chance but whilst monitoring the M5 and A30 Bodmin cameras whilst we were at work... it quickly became clear that the next wave of South West snow was a bad one and ultimately closed long stretches of our route and made it impossible to travel. We decided not to go. Wise decision.

Looks like I've missed out on Glaucous, Iceland, Ring-billed and Kumliens Gulls, aswell as other good birds down there inbetween jobs on my mates property. But every cloud... after reading your post Nick, I took the chance on this book and ordered one the other day, it came today and what a fantastic book it is.
Obviously the vast difference that exists in a lot of Gulls, within the same species, has to be taken into account, but many of the photos used are excellent quality and depict the features explained in the text. It shows images of all ages and stages of each Gull species and subspecies, and I'm in no doubt that this book will get worn fairly quickly!
Money well spent at £26.93.


p.s. I'm impressed with the Pacific Gull, the bill is unrealwink

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James, I would have been part of that small group on the main path on the Friday afternoon watching it feed in the small wooded area. I went back the next day (Saturday) and remember the huge queue of people all the way back to the car park by the afternoon but I got there early in the morning and got to watch it again through the fence with a few others. Just like you Id never heard of a Black-faced Bunting!

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Took delivery of the new "Gulls of the World, A Photographic Guide, Klaus Malling Olsen" in the week. I've only had a general thumb through but really looks excellent, its a good size (even potentially for taking into the field, its smaller than its 2004 sister guide).

There is a decent review on Dutch Birding, they point out a few issues but generally a favourable review, its all relative !

https://www.dutchbirding.nl/recensies/1445/gulls_of_the_world_a_photographic_guide



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Here is a sneak preview from the book "The Big 400"

FIRST FOR BRITAIN
This is the one
The Stone Roses

The events of March 1994 in Greater Manchester are now the word of birding folklore

A first-winter male BLACK-FACED BUNTING graced Pennington Flash Country Park from 9th March 24th April 1994

Its very poetic that, after dashing around the British Isles visiting some of the top nature reserves, and islands such as Scilly, Orkney and Shetland, the joint rarest bird of The Big 400 was on my own doorstep in the Manchester area

It cannot be over-stated how huge an episode this was on the UK birding scene, it was that huge that when I received the first message on my Birdnet pager I had never even heard of the species, Black-faced Bunting

I looked at the message, my head started spinning and I wondered if the message was supposed to actually say In Greater Manchester a Black-headed Bunting

Either way, I raced towards Pennington Flash in a Joyrider-style as it seemed that this might be the best way to discover the truth of the situation!

I recall arriving to find a small group of birders gathering along the main middle pathway staring at what looked like a makeshift feeding station situated along the border of a hedgerow, and there it was! Feeding amongst the Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Reed Buntings, Bramblings, Robins and Dunnocks - a first-winter male Black-faced Bunting

Situated on the identification spectrum midway between Dunnock, Reed Bunting and House Sparrow, it just looked like a Rare Bunting

I was lucky to be on the spot when the news first broke so I managed to side-step the massive crowds on the first Saturday and Sunday when, literally, thousands of birders arrived, putting Manchester/Lancashire on the birding map

The twitch turned into a media frenzy, made Sky News and the cheesy Good Morning television, where Eamonn Holmes turned into a jibbering wreck trying to anchor a live broadcast from Pennington Flash

There have been 5 subsequent UK records, three one-day birds (two in the North-east, one on Lundy) and two on Shetland Isles (one on Fair Isle in 2001, one on Bressay in 2016), and this species remains a real mega

Should another turn up at a feeding station in Northern England it would certainly attract a similar sized crowd of birders



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THE BIG 400 - A Personal Journey To 400 UK Bird Species

Available now on Amazon Kindle

James Walsh aka The Mancunian Birder becomes the first person to publish a book about seeing four hundred bird species within the UK, an almost James Bond-esque adventure of planes, trains, boats & automobiles from Manchester to the Scilly Isles to Kent to Shetland to Mull & many locations around the UK inbetween

I started birding when I was eight, winning the Young Ornithologist of the Year award in 1985 & after more than 30 years of birding I managed to reach 400 UK bird species just before my 40th birthday says James

Back in the day, in the 1980s, birders had a reputation as anoraks, but these days birding is a big industry & superstar birders are the new rock n roll stars, with even Hollywood recreating the pioneering spirit of the birding experience for the big screen in The Big Year

There are several books that have a similar theme to this one, mainly accounts of a Big Year, & James Hanlons Birding In The Fast Lane is an account of a dash to 500 UK species, whereas this book is more of a Mancunian mooch, a smooth, reflective look at the UK birding scene from the 1980s to the present day, a celebration of the UKs ecosystem & a great advert for wildlife and conservation in general; this book should take UK birding to the next level

The book contains personal accounts of many classic twitches such as the Pennington Flash Black-faced Bunting in 1994 (a first for Britain near Manchester), Scilly season and journeys to the Wilsons Triangle and the Nottingham Triangle!

This book is proudly Northern centric, with chapters entitled The Madchester Era, Magnetic North and We Love The North, James says It is time the view from up North is heard on the birding scene

James says Seeing 400 bird species within the UK has always been the classic target for UK birders & I feel honoured to be able to publish my own personal story of reaching this target

This book was launched at the Rutland Bird Fair 2017, the UKs largest birding festival, and the North West Bird Fair 2017, Martin Mere, Lancashire in November 2017"




-- Edited by James Walsh on Wednesday 10th of January 2018 10:56:41 PM


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Been a while since anyone posted on this thread! My wife got me a copy of Birds in Pictures by Markus Varesvuo for Christnas, which is a stunning photography book. Haven't had time to fully digest it yet (it comes with descriptions of some of the species photographed), but I'm definitely impressed with it based on a few flick throughs yesterday.

-- Edited by David Morris on Tuesday 26th of December 2017 09:48:08 AM

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Just bought HBW and BirdLife International " Illustrated checklist of the Birds of the World Vol1" (the 2nd and final part due in October this year) Had seen rave reviews and must agree with them, a definite 10/10. Every bird in the world illustrated including known subspecies with accompanying taxonomic notes and distribution plus maps. A bulky 900 pages. I ordered the book directly from Lynx Edicions in Spain 145 euros for each volume and postage free. Considerably cheaper than UK - £155 from NHBS and don't even bother looking at Amazon. Book was received in only one week from date of order and was packaged better than most breakable goods are.



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Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia

Even for those not immediately contemplating a trip to Colombia the new 2nd edition Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia (McMullen and Donegan) published by Fundacion ProAves is a little gem of compactness and well worth £25.

With 1921 species now recorded within its borders, Colombia boasts the largest avifauna of any country, just ahead of Peru.

The previous Princeton publication by Hilty and Brown weighed almost 3 lbs, and in the hot thin air conditions of the high Paramo must have felt like lugging around a brick. The new guide weighs less than half the Hilty and Brown guide, and is a sure pointer for the need for Peru and Ecuador, (the other countries in the top trio of birding destinations, with excellent but hefty field guides) to follow suit.

The plates are not as good as those of Guy Tudor in the old fieldguide, and the taxonomic order seems somewhat jumbled for those more used to traditional treatment. Also from a personal point of view I dislike the changes of name for the 2 Pittasoma Antpittas, here changed to" Gnatpittas" and for the 3 Mionectes flycatchers now named as "Fruit-Tyrants" (as they have a special liking for fruit as well as insects), though in every sense they are quite obviously flycatchers, and are placed in the plates as such among the other 207 flycatcher species covered in the book. (Yes,- you read that correctly; imagine that lot turning up at Wigan Flashes!)

Whilst having had a minor grumble, overall the book is very good, and gives an idea as to the vocalisations and distribution in terms of altitudinal and geographic locale.

Mike Passant

 



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Why not?



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Recieved a copy of the new helm wildfowl book yesterday. I was a bit apprehensive having only seen the illustration on the cover! and with the book being illustrated by the author who's work I was not familiar with, (thinking of the helm warbler guide). But all my fears were dispelled on opening the book, the plates are all very good to excellent. The number of hybrids covered is also highly desirable. Altogether an excellent publication that I would highly recommend to all you flash moochers.

Si thee on't ruck

Paul



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Funnily enough Paul, I was looking to see if I could find a copy the other day. I originally started looking for the BWP concise for a friend. When I couldn't find that I started looking for the DVD which I couldn't find either. I presume its been discontinued due to all the taxonomic changes that have happened in the last 10 or so years - I must admit that my BWP concise feels a bit out of date. But, you'd think it quite easy to update the info on a DVD.

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Thursday 6th of November 2014 09:36:40 PM

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So the New Birding Frontiers Challenge series AUTUMN, ermm.

At first was a tad disappointed with it, the QR Codes bits seem to be naff and I cannot get them to work, but its slowly growing on me, I think its a little sparse on the information, but having said that it makes you rethink and double check a lot of things,
you do have to have lots of other books to look through, and I have a few, so thats good, but it makes you go online and check things out as well, perhaps not worth £16, but put it on your yuletide list, Page 7 explains how we can all be Great Birder quickly
wink

oh on a tangent does anyone know why the BWP DVd ROM is no longer available ?

keep Birding

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Received my copy last week, some of the new plates are excellent and the much expanded text is a big bonus on the old macmillan guide which like john is one of my favourite books. One slight niggle ( only my own humble opinion )is that like a lot of the new Helm field guides they seem to use a lot of old plates.

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I know its been posted before but The Helm Guide to Bird Identification out next week is an update of my favourite all time bird book, I would say it will be a great update and useful guide to the harder to ID Birds as the first issue of this book was 25 years ago, now includes birds like Yellow Legged Gull and Caspian gull, its not a field guide as such its a helpful guide to the birds that often cause confusion in the field.Its expensive for a paperback,but 400 pages seems a worthwhile investment and I will be having one for my birthday in April
smile

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I just bought The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott White. For the united states area. A superb book. Unique in its structure. For example each bird has about 15 or more photographs from different angles. No illustrations just all photographs. From the angle you would most likely see the bird. ie from underneath usually. Also a cracking chart section showing firstly a close up of every single warblers head on one double page for quick comparisons. The same with every bird from. 45° then the side views. And from underneath. Brilliant. And also a quick undertail coverts guide. A very nice book. I like it a lot and also just £12 on amazon at present. Also got a new small field guide to the birds of texas. Not a great book to be honest but a good small keep with you field guide. Im hoping for big fallout on high island. Texas this spring smile

-- Edited by Dennis atherton on Saturday 18th of January 2014 10:13:22 AM

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Two new books, Winging it Birding for low flyers and Birduder 344 A life list ordinary, honest account of birding over the years, the latter book covering a wider range,

Nice to read some honest truths about birders.

 

Keep birding



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Best mate just called round and dropped off an early Xmas present. The new Crossley ID Guide.
Can't put it down. A different spin on a bird ID book, photos of all variations of plumages of the birds super-imposed on real photos of the likely habitat, giving a realistic impression of how and where you would see the bird.
Well chuffed!


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Originally posted by Simon Gregory today:


Just found this on amazon, it's by the same people that did the macmillan guides due 27/03/14

Sorry if it's already been posted I did a search but it came back with no results, just thought i'd give a heads up

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helm-Guide-Bird-Identification/dp/1408130351/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385907409&sr=1-1&keywords=helm+guide



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I wasn't expecting the atlas until next week, so it was a huge surprise to receive a (very heavy) parcel this morning. I am absolutely overjoyed.smile.

On first impressions the quality looks great, though only time will tell if they made it resistant enough to survive me reading it for the umpteenth time!!wink The maps themselves are great (though maybe a tad complicated at first), though unfortunately the story they tell is too often one of decline...

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Bird Atlas 2007-2011 has been delivered this morning. Plenty to dip in to on these dark nights and a pleasant reminder of the survey years smile

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Hope you've got a big bookcase mate ! wink

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Its not just me then. Lol. I also recently bought the new helm guide to The birds of Gambia and Senegal. A birders guide to southern california by Brad Schram. An audubon handbook to eastern birds by mcgraw hill. A photographic guide to birds of britain and europe. Bill oddie. Birdwatching. Gripping yarns. And gone birding. Northwest nature reserves by our very own Pauline Mellor. And finally Birds and Birdwatching at Pennington flash by the legend. David Wilson. Very nice . I like the classics too and have wanted the old penny flash book for ages smile

-- Edited by Dennis atherton on Thursday 17th of October 2013 06:40:45 PM

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Dennis atherton wrote:

Superb new book arrived today

Bird ID Insights by Dominic Couzens


Not really a standard book as the trusty Collins does very well but more interested in recognition with the trickier species with the main ID Features and differences straight to the point. The key features and what to look for are the only features listed. Also ageing and plumage variation. Well worth the £12 price with free delivery on Amazon. Definitely worth a look to add to the collection





Funnily enough Dennis mine arrived a few days ago, hadn't seen it before but just took a chance through Amazon. Not a bad little book (points out the pale spot on the upper mandible of Marsh Tit !!!!!!!!!!!), especially for £12 ! Quite like the Gulls section (lets see if it improves my McKerchar Mystery Bird efforts !!!!).

Also got the Mark Cocker - "Birds and People", VERY interesting, but is going to take some reading !!

(also got "Essential Ornithology" - Graham Scott and "Looking At Birds - An Antidote to Field Guides" - John Busby. Thats my reading material sorted for quite some time !!! Think I OD'd slightly !!! It was a weighty package I carried back to work from the local Amazon Locker !!!!)

cheers
Nick

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Superb new book arrived today

Bird ID Insights by Dominic Couzens


Not really a standard book as the trusty Collins does very well but more interested in recognition with the trickier species with the main ID Features and differences straight to the point. The key features and what to look for are the only features listed. Also ageing and plumage variation. Well worth the £12 price with free delivery on Amazon. Definitely worth a look to add to the collection

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Had a chance this week to have a good look through "The Warbler Guide - Stephenson & Whittle" (my Father had bought it). Its a guide book on American warblers but the format is nothing like anything I have seen before. An amazing amount of information on plumage variations, calls, songs, etc but set out in a totally different format to any British bird guide I've seen. Close comparisons with similar species, highlights of key features on brief views, all sorts of innovative methods to confirm ID. Also can be found for an amazing price,

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Identifying Animals.
All vertebrates of France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Great Britain and Ireland.
A French publication with text in English, French, & Dutch.

I received my copy today and am very pleased with the content which has excellent drawings, text, and distribution maps for birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, & mammals. 644 species.
Finally a field guide with all these in one book which is ideal for a trip to the near continent.

Available online from Subbuteo Natural History Books which is part of CJ Wildbird Foods Ltd (£23.99 + £2.50 postage)


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RSPB Handbook of British Birds edition 3 is a great one-
providing fantastic distribution maps, beautiful, clear illustrations and a wealth of useful information. biggrin

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Just a small enquiry, I have had an order in for Multimedia Identification Guide to North Atlantic Seabirds: Pterodroma Petrels for some time and was just wondering if any one else has ordered this book and if they have received it yet or if this item is not yet available!

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A new book called 'Scilly Birding: Joining the Madding Crowd' looks like it has the potential to be a good read about the Isles of Scilly, one of the best places in Britain for birding and twitching. There's likely to be some sensationalism going on in order to sell copies to the public, but I believe it is by a birder and not just a journalist so hope it is tempered by the true excitement of birding and enjoying the islands.

More here- http://www.nhbs.com/scilly_birding_tefno_191762.html

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Paul Wilson - re your initial post on 26/3. As Ian rightly suggests the number of books that you regularly look at and use will probably be quite limited. One book that I particularly like that hasn't already been mentioned in other posts and that I refer to frequently is the Poyser publication "Birds in England" by Brown and Grice. The dust cover describes this as being "a timely and thorough examination of the status and distribution, past and present, of every species on the English list." Unfortunately with it being published in 2005, it will now be as expected, slightly out of date but still contains plenty of interesting info, to my mind anyway. Not a great deal of pictures in it for you though! If you can get it cheaply anywhere, then it's certainly a welcome, as well as useful addition to any book collection. Another book that I bought this year (and "reviewed" somewhere back earlier on this particular thread) that I have often referred to since purchase is the excellent BTO publication " A Field Guide to Monitoring Nests" by Ferguson-Lees, Castell and Leech. This is one book that I will keep in the boot of my car this summer and will certainly take out with me whilst birding and be one to cast an eye over regularly.

Paul Hurst - re your post on this topic dated 26/3, I too spend far too much time looking at maps, especially in books about birds. Not sure if you are aware that one of our neighbours local atlas publications is now available to look at online, without necessarily having to buy the book! What a bargain! The really excellent "Birds in Cheshire and Wirral - A breeding and wintering atlas" can be viewed at http://www.cheshireandwirralbirdatlas.org/

Also if you wish to look at a limited amount of data for the first two national breeding birds atlas publications for '68 -'72 and '88 - '91 this can be viewed at http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/birdatlas/previous-atlases Whilst not having the publications in full the drop down box at the bottom of this webpage shows the distribution maps for species in the two atlas periods and any changes. Also a map (where relevant) of the winter distribution of species during the winter atlas '81 - '84. Maybe just a "taster" for these three publications...assuming they are still available in print?


Best wishes,


Bill.


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Sorry, I was wrong and Paul was right of course! I was forgetting the hefty post and packing costs!

The pre-publication offer is £45 + £5 p&p = £50

and anyone can have it at that price - whether they contributed or not disbelief

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Paul Hurst wrote:

Just saying that the Bird Atlas 2007-11 is now available for pre-order on the BTO website!
If you pre-order it apparently it only cost £50 (inc. p&p), which is £20 cheaper than its retail price (though in my opinion its worth every penny).

I have to admit I've been waiting so long for this book. I love books, birds, and maps, so a book with bird maps is honestly one of the best things I can dream of right now!

It's getting published in Autumn 2013: only about 7 more months to go...





It certainly does look like an impressive piece of work - I too can't wait!

However, there may be a chance that you could get it a few quid cheaper if you contributed records to the atlas - will let you know as soon as I get details...

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Paul Heaton wrote:

I must admit Mr McKerchars advise is spot on .. the man has his finger on the pulse all the time, just two books and the Birdguide to Northern Europe app is perhaps all you need, oh and a notebook and pencil.


However the Helm guide to Pipits & Wagtails is a very good book and the BTO Migration Atlas is one to bend anyones bookshelf.





Already have those two books (Collins Bird Guide and Advanced Bird ID Handbook) and the iPhone app - mainly used when I need to check a bird call that I'm not used to - quite a lot! Don't do notebook and pencil - struggle with writing.

I have a few other bird books: Raptors of Europe and the Middle East; Flight Identification of European Seabirds; Birds Britanica; Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere - I like the pictures!

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Just saying that the Bird Atlas 2007-11 is now available for pre-order on the BTO website!
If you pre-order it apparently it only cost £50 (inc. p&p), which is £20 cheaper than its retail price (though in my opinion its worth every penny).

I have to admit I've been waiting so long for this book. I love books, birds, and maps, so a book with bird maps is honestly one of the best things I can dream of right now!

It's getting published in Autumn 2013: only about 7 more months to go...

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To diversify, as Paul says, there are lots of individual fantastic family monograph guides out there, of which the Helm series are the best around; pipits and wagtails; Reed and Bush Warblers; Sylvia Warblers to name but a few, but they are fantastically detailed and ultimately can be quite overwhelming. As such you use them less and in fact, what the Collins Bird Guide offers will suffice for 95% of al occasions smile

I have to disagree slightly with Henry slightly on the gull guide though. The identification of gulls is developing more than most other species we come across on a regular basis (the 'large white headed group in particular anyway') and once this book was written, sections of it were already pretty out of date. I don't disagree that it may represent perhaps the best treatment of gulls to date but that doesn't necessarily mean it makes it any good! I'm being a bit harsh there perhaps but as someone who has been through the book with a fine tooth comb, I have never read a modern day bird identification monograph with as many inaccuracies as this book. Take a look at certain age classes for some species (third winter birds are a favourite) and the information is desperately lacking. Look at the detailed identification sections and often its merely an expanded version of the brief section with no more 'meat on the bones'. This book was written at a time when various aspects of gull identification were in rapid evolution to a great degree and as such it suffers because of it. Its not the writers fault of course and for many may not detract from the book at all anyway, but for me it does and I practically can't bear reading it any more cry

As for what books to buy. Well, we all own books we've probably never really read; bought them with good intentions but never really needed them, so my only advise would be to but something you will use regularly or something you'll just enjoy reading instead. I bought a copy of The Migration Atlas recently (only because it was very cheap; a true bargain biggrin) and was blown away by the sheer volume of information and work that had gone into it. A true masterpiece.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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I would recommend the Helm gulls book Paul. No other guide i've come across does this diverse and variable group justice, and the level of detail in it is remarkable. I agree with Ian that identification criteria are constantly evolving, but that is an issue for guides featuring allsorts of groups and not specific to this book in particular in my opinion.

With a grand to spend, it's a fantastic opportunity to purchase a few volumes of Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW)!

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I must admit Mr McKerchars advise is spot on .. the man has his finger on the pulse all the time, just two books and the Birdguide to Northern Europe app is perhaps all you need, oh and a notebook and pencil.


However the Helm guide to Pipits & Wagtails is a very good book and the BTO Migration Atlas is one to bend anyones bookshelf.



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Paul Wilson wrote:

Not a post on new books, but rather a request on anyone's thoughts on a few that have been out a while.

My son is struggling to spend his £1000 Blackwells University book allowance and I was thinking of getting him to spend some of it on me, rather than it just be lost at the end of the year. I have come up with a shortlist of four books I thought I'd like. Are any of them rubbish? I was thinking of giving him about a third of the value in cash for them if he can get hold of them.


Handbook of Bird Identification - For Europe and the Western Palearctic - 9780713639605 Price 75.00 (Amazon 71.25) (Kindle 31.80)

Raptors of the World - An Identification Guide to the Raptors of the World - 9780713680263 Price 60.00 (Amazon 52.80) (Kindle 18.04)

Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America - 9780713670875 Price 50.00 (Amazon 35.96) (Kindle 24.46)

Collins Bird Guide - large format - 9780007449026 Price 50.00 (Amazon 32.98)

Any others I should consider - given that I don't want anything too serious!





Handbook of Bird Identification- old now and showing it though still has lots of very good information of course.

Raptors of the World- nice to look at but in a Western Palearctic perspective nothing beats Forsman's Raptors book.

Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America- not my favourite book I'm afraid; contradictive in parts; very repetitive in others; and unfortunately as gull identification ploughs on relentlessly this book continues to fall further and further behind. I don't recall the last time I even opened mine up anymore hmm

Collins Bird Guide (large format)- the smaller version is the best field guide available, so this one's just bigger and maybe better? Not for me though. It's unwieldy, cuts the circulation off in your legs when you rest it on your lap and I actually prefer the print and illustrations in the smaller version (I'm odd). I have the large version of the first edition and I don't think I've ever opened it more than a few times.

I have a bookcase bending under the weight of its books and whilst I dip into many of them with regularity, only two now remain on the desk, thumbed to death; Collins Bird Guide (second edition small version) and Advanced Bird ID Handbook (large edition). Its all every bird could want for identification purposes smile

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Not a post on new books, but rather a request on anyone's thoughts on a few that have been out a while.

My son is struggling to spend his £1000 Blackwells University book allowance and I was thinking of getting him to spend some of it on me, rather than it just be lost at the end of the year. I have come up with a shortlist of four books I thought I'd like. Are any of them rubbish? I was thinking of giving him about a third of the value in cash for them if he can get hold of them.


Handbook of Bird Identification - For Europe and the Western Palearctic - 9780713639605 Price 75.00 (Amazon 71.25) (Kindle 31.80)

Raptors of the World - An Identification Guide to the Raptors of the World - 9780713680263 Price 60.00 (Amazon 52.80) (Kindle 18.04)

Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America - 9780713670875 Price 50.00 (Amazon 35.96) (Kindle 24.46)

Collins Bird Guide - large format - 9780007449026 Price 50.00 (Amazon 32.98)

Any others I should consider - given that I don't want anything too serious!

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Steve Suttill wrote:

Not read his Merlin book, Jon, but Dick Orton's "The Hawkwatcher" (probably hard to find these days) is also an excellent read.

I'm currently reading "Bird Sense" by Tim Birkhead. Fascinating stuff...





Steve

I've ordered a copy of the hawkwatcher - I'll let you know what I think, although if it's anything like the Merlin book I won't be disappointed

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Paul Heaton wrote:

Birds in a Cage by Derek Niemann, a profound moving book of four British birdwatchers in Warburg POW Camp 1941.





A very good read indeed

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Not read his Merlin book, Jon, but Dick Orton's "The Hawkwatcher" (probably hard to find these days) is also an excellent read.

I'm currently reading "Bird Sense" by Tim Birkhead. Fascinating stuff...

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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.