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Really pleased with this book. Obviously comparisons will be made with the Collins Bird Guide which has been my "Go-To" for a long time, but I always felt that if a guide using photographs could be made, it would have the immediate advantage of appearing as what you see through binoculars or a scope. In the past, valiant attempts have been made and although interesting, lacked much of the information required in the field such as juveniles or moult stages and were just pretty pictures of coffee table interest. This beast (it is a hefty tome) just gets it right on so many levels. Physically bigger than the Collins, but the typeface is easier to read, the 560 pages over the 448 of the Collins and the fact that it covers Britain's Birds rather than Europe, has meant it "breathes" on the page and each bird has sufficient room to enable distinguishing features to be set amongst the main photos. The text is generally conversational, like having a knowledgable friend giving you identification tips, although technical language is used where appropriate. It is up to date (to end of March 2016), it has really good maps, conservation status, British & Irish lists and legislation. I can't fault it. I usually prefer a hardback for durability but this is well stitched and folds flat without any stressing. One to get.
An excellent book. In my opinion the best bird identification book out there, the pictures & the layout are better than any other bird book iv looked at, the book is well made, a bit heavy but no heavier than my other books of similar size & can easily be carried in a small day pack for use in the field, iv taken mine out several times a week since i purchased it in February this year & unlike some outer books the pages are not comming away. An excellent book, if you go bird watching no matter how experienced this is a book to have.
Haven't put this down since in came through the door. Quality guide throughout as far as I'm concerned. As always with bird guides there will be those that don't like it for one reason or another. For me it's up there with the best guides currently on the market. Will by another for the car!
I don't think that there will ever be the perfect bird identification guide and I tend to use several because they all have their blind spots or more fairly, limits due to volume restrictions. However, this is the one I carry and use the most. The large identification photographs are a real bonus and it doesn't over or underwhelm with text. The other guides that I like that I think complement it are, The Crossley ID Guide Britain & Ireland by Richard Crossley and Dominic Couzens, also published by Princeton, which is particularly good on seasonal plumage differences and juveniles/immature bird stages, the rspb Birds of Britain and Europe (The Definitive Photographic Field Guide) by Bob Hume, published by DK and the very convenient rspb pocket Birds of Britain and Europe by Jonathan Elphick and John Woodward, also published by DK. I like to carry the latter pocket book on more casual occasions or simply when I don't want to carry weight. Weight and size is the only down side of the book under review, since you either need large and strong pockets to carry it around with you or carry bag.
I purchased this book as a gift for my 'Birder' wife, she is impressed with the very clear illustrations and descriptions. She took it with her recently to the New Forest with her only comment being; that it is a bit heavy to carry around together with the binoculars. Perhaps it is more suited to keep in the car or, in the bookcase. Thoroughly recommend this publication.
Excellent quality book, it makes a great bookshelf reference guide. It's too big and heavy for a field guide.
The binding, paper and print quality are top notch. The excellent photographs make it very easy to identify birds, adult & juvenile plumage and in flight. Theres a distribution map with migratory routes and conservation notes. It has British birds with rare visitors included, it's not bogged down with all of the european birds.
This is the only book that would replace my Collins guide, if I had to choose a single book I'd have this one. It's also worth every penny and more. I can't believe how good it is for the cost. LOVE IT.
I didn't look inside much, as tried to keep it as new as possible, as bought it for my daughter for Christmas. My first impression was: it's a wonderful book, well put together, informative, easy to navigate in. Later in a consecutive conversation discovered that she has got a version of it already. So, had to return. Amazon's return was easy. Thanks.
An excellent addition to every birders library, lots of information on all species you can expect to see in Britain and Ireland. Nicely set out, easy to follow and just a beautiful book all round. I wouldn't like this to be my only bird book but used in conjunction with the Collins Bird Guide, the RSPB handbook and the BTO British Birds it makes a complete library, throw in Steven Moss " everything you always wanted to know about birds" and there can't be much more anyone would need to know about Birds in this country, well maybe add the birds Britannica and .......... well you get the picture. I really am delighted with this book and would recommend that any birder buy it and enjoy a different approach to a much loved subject and hobby.
This new guide
Britain’s Birds: An Identification Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland (WILDGuides)
is set to become the standard for British and Irish birders. It has instantly become my favourite field guide for the birds of Britain and Ireland. I do have and use virtually all the current bird guides published (Collins, Crossley, RSGB, BTO, Van Duivendijk, et al, along with many which are out of print, so to win me over to this guide was quite a feat!
This book is substantial in size (15.8 x 3.5 x 21.5 cm) with 560 pages containing the highest quality photographs of birds in various plumages and sexes and in flight. There is a comprehensive index as well as a short index on a flap at the rear which is very convenient in quickly locating the various types of bird. The paper is of high quality and despite being 3.5cm thick the book opens flat very well. No need to keep your hand on the page while you use it to check out the id of some bird you have photographed. Believe me when I say that this can be an annoying feature of some books!
This guide in my opinion excels in distinguishing between male and female of each species and in quickly highlighting the differences with confusing species. This is often done with a clear photo of each of the sexes or species with a further textual annotation appended to the photo. Personally I have been able to make distinctions between male and female of certain species that I had not been able to do before. Of course any good guide will have this information in the text, but for me a photo with some of the key identifying features highlighted helps to aid or reinforce these important features needed by the keen birder who wishes to increase their birding skills. The blending of various bird photos into one page/scene is for the most part very skilfully and artistically done.
The opening section of each bird type contains useful information. Indeed, scattered throughout the book there is a considerable amount of very helpful material both in textual and photographic form. The maps in this book are of sufficient size as to be useful. Some guides I have have disappointed me in that the maps are just too small to be readable. No use for a magnifying glass here! The inclusion of migratory paths is often not included in guides of this nature. While these maps cannot be comprehensive due to limited space they will be a very helpful bonus for many readers. This field guide to British birds contains a lot of information on every page. One bit of info which is not icluded is an indicator of what months of the year each species is likely to be present. A simple line bar graph would have remedied this omission.
WildGuides have once again set the standard very high. Does it make the other guides obsolete? No. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. If you buy this guide it will undoubtedly give you many enjoyable hours perusal and help anyone in identifying common and rare birds which are to be found in Britain and Ireland. Buy it, you won't be disappointed! I'm glad I bought this on the strength of the high quality of other WildGuides, as there weren't many reviews. I wasn't disappointed. In fact I am delighted to now have this book in my collection. As I said, it is now a favourite among my many bird guides.
This is a superb book! It will be very helpful to all birders ranging from complete novices to all but the most advanced. The pictures are well chosen. I cannot fault it. And superb value for money. I don't say it's the only bird book you'll ever need but you could do a lot worse than starting with this one.