BIRDS OF SURREY By Jeffery J. Wheatley. Surrey Bird Club, 2007. 696 pages; 11 colour plates; 57 line-drawings; 36 colour photographs; numerous maps and tables. ISBN 978-0-901363-08-6. Hardback, £35.00. This book has been a long time coming, but it really has been worth the wait! It was originally conceived as a successor to Parr's Birds in Surrey 1900­1970, which would incorporate the results of the county tetrad breeding atlas carried out from 1988 to 1994 (later extended to 1997). However, the work became a labour of love for the sole author, Jeff Wheatley, and he broadened his researches to include much pre-twentieth century information and even evidence from the fossil record. The book is in two main parts: a lengthy introduction and the systematic list. The former is a pleasure to delve into and comprises seven sections, including `Geology, climate, weather and land use', `The development of the landscape', and `The history of bird recording in Surrey'. There is a wealth of interesting information here, including a summary of the documented climatic events for the last 300 years; the spread of urbanisation and resultant loss of heathland (Surrey's key habitat); and a summary of other important habitats and main ornithological sites. The introduction is followed by a brief section summarising information about the changing population of various species, migratory movements and roosts. The systematic list covers all 339 species reliably recorded in the vicecounty of Surrey (VC 17) and Spelthorne district. The latter, although outside the vice-county, is within the

Volume: 
Issue 8
Start Page: 
448
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