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This is essentially the 3rd edition and contains recent splits such as Moltoni's Warbler and Balearic Warbler amongst others. The extremely high quality of the content contained in this guide is indisputable but I have only given it four stars for the following reason: Some of the plates looked a bit dark and having compared it to my "first" 2nd edition they most definitely are, in particular the warblers. It almost looks like someone has over-processed them in photoshop and this is especially true of the phylloscopus warblers. Hopefully it was just a bad print run and it really shouldn't stop you buying what is without doubt the best field guide for Britain and Europe.
There's no need for me to sing the praises of this well-acclaimed book. Packed with full information, diagnostic features, and good pictures that show similar birds on the same page for differentiation. Sometimes a little overwhelming in the amount of information, but if you ignore the arcane options (bird only found in the eastern Mediterranean and you're in Wales) it is great. The distribution maps are pretty poor, though - small, with no detail.
Wow this book really is everything everyone says about it. To say its thorough is a bit of an understatement. Its not for the casual back garden birder but definitely a must for anyone serious. It lists not only all the birds you might expect in the UK but also everything you might get in europe plus all of the accidentals and all of the one off's ever recorded. The illustrations are top notch and show many variants of plumage. Basically every serious birder should have a copy.
I bought this book as a gift for my mum's birthday. The content of the book is great, with tonnes of information on all the different species you might find whilst birdwatching. Unfortunately to pack all that information in what is a relatively small book requires a small font, this is not so good for anyone who has poor eyesight. A large print version would be good.
An excellent home and field guide. I must say i have not been a fan of sketched or illustrated guides, i think it leaves to much open to the illustrator to exagerate features such as colour or finish (matt/silk) etc. I also think it makes an amateur struggle to remember a bird from a drawing as it isnt as relatable as actually seeing a photo of the bird. however that said, i understand that it would be very very hard to get every bird, every sex, every season plumage at every age and have the correct angled. So for those reasons i think this guide book is very good, the illustraions are excellent and very true to life. It is readable even when you are not in a hide or at your local reserve.
I was advised by a professional ornithologist to buy this book. The illustrations of birds are beautifully drawn and executed. The information is excellent and comprehensive. My only adverse comment is that the text is quite dense and a lot has been packed into every page. I would have preferred to have more space for text and maps, which are very generalized. However this would have meant a substantial increase in price. Overall I am very satisfied with this purchase.
This volume is easily the finest book on the market for the general reader. Both the author and the illustrators have unassailable reputations in the field. The text is lucid and informative and the illustrations are superb. I always take the paperback version in my pocket when visting RSPB hides and reserves. It is rare that one finds a book that is simply indispensable, but in my view, this 2nd edition of the celebrated, Collins Bird Guide surely is! Anyone interested in birds should think about purchasing a copy.
This second edition of early 2010 is an essential purchase for the serious birder or any reader who is interested in identifying the birds seen in the garden or on an excursion to the country or coast. A worthwhile enterprise would be the additional offering of accompanying media with examples of the calls and songs.
The English edition by Harper Collins is a good translation of the original Swedish work. The usefulness of this book relies heavily on the clarity of the superbly detailed illustrations. There are multiple pictures of species which seasonally change plumage and/or as they mature from juvenile to adult. In the case of gulls, which mature over 4 years, the coverage of 1st, 2nd & 3rd year plumage is particularly helpful. Birds like eagles, hawks and falcons are shown in flight from above and below. Subtle wing pattern distinctions are clearly pointed out. In other species, beak and leg differences are indicated, where they are important for identification. There are useful hints for birders, like "Watching sea birds". The Introduction is essential reading as a primer for the beginner. It contains many common sense tips that experienced birders would do well to read as a refresher. The Mandarin Duck, now resident and breeding in large numbers in the UK, is included only in the section "Introduced breeding species, etc. ...". This deprives the reader of some distinguishing illustrations, like the non-breeding phase. It would have been more helpful to include it in the main body, as are the Canada Goose and the Pheasant family.
However, this is a minor criticism of a fine publication that justifies fully what might appear to be a high cover price. It deserves to exceed the massive 700,000 copies of the first edition.
Treated myself for Christmas. Wow !! This has to be the best field guide I have ever owned, well apart from your first which in my case was The Observer Book of Birds (I had when I was 8 years old). This is the second edition and the pictures and descriptions are simply breathtaking. It has full details of the new sub-species (taxonomy) and also a section at the back on North American Passerines, Vagrants & Introduced & Escaped species.
If you want a brilliant field guide that covers 713 species in the main section that covers all birds which breed or occur in Europe & North Africa north of 30 degrees North and Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, this is for you. Also included are the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Sinai Peninsula.
A chunky but can fit in your bag paperback guide, that is a must for travelling, even more so now so many sub-species have been identified. The text is easy to decipher and you will just treasure this book if your a decent birder or a seasoned pro. Maybe not the best for beginners, so be warned.