The Complete Garden Bird Book: how to identify and attract birds to your garden. By Mark Golley, Stephen Moss & David Daly, New Holland, London, 1996. 176 pages; 500 illustrations, ISBN 1-85368-581-X. Paperback £9.99. The only thing wrong with this absolutely splendid book is its title. The book is, essentially, concerned with the identification and habits of 70 species of garden birds. David Daly's drawings (usually five or six of each species) are a sheer delight, capturing typical postures and characteristic habits as well as the diagnostic field characters in a way which will be invaluable to would-be garden birdwatchers. The 'how to attract birds to your garden' part of the book takes up a total of only about ten pages (half of which are pictures of birds), which might not receive too much criticism, even though it is inadequate in numerous repects, were it not for the emphasis put on this in the title. If the book had been called How to Identify Garden Birds, it could have claimed to have been stunningly successful in its aim. David Daly's paintings are so pleasing that there will be many who have progressed far beyond the beginner stage who will want to own this book for its artistic content. The choice of species to be included in a book such as this will always be debated, but I have seen 64 of the 70 in my own garden, and the selection has clearly been made with care. This is the ideal book for anyone wanting to identify the birds in their garden without the complication of all those which are unlikely ever to visit.

Issue 7
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Lansdown, P
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