A HISTORY OF DEVONSHIRE ORNITHOLOGY: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE By David G. Jenks. Isabelline Books, Penryn, 2004. 477 pages; 24 colour plates; blackand-white photographs. ISBN 0-9542955-4-4. Hardback, £58.00. Over the last one century or more, the counties of the UK have largely been well served by a steady procession of increasingly comprehensive county avifaunas. Rather strangely, however, little has been researched and written about the groups and individuals that, through hard work and untold hours in the field, made these volumes possible. With this fine and thoroughly researched book, David Jenks has ensured that, at least for Devon, this situation has been rectified. This volume covers ornithology and ornithologists in the county from the earliest times, beginning with the prehistoric birds whose remains were found mainly in the caves of south Devon. It is intriguing to read amongst this wealth of information that the remains of a Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus, the only one known in southern England from the Pleistocene period, were found in cave deposits, and also, possibly, Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus. The author then deals with what he terms the `pre-ornithological era', the age before systematic recording began, when most of the scant written statements refer to birds killed by Devon Bird Watching and Preservation Society (DBWPS) was formed in 1928. The final chapters follow the development of this society and its impact, through both indiv idual and group effort, on the knowledge of birdlife in the county. It is sometimes forgotten in our `information is power'

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Issue 7
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376
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