Birds of Iberia By Clive Finlayson & David Tomlinson. Mirador Publications, Fuengirola, 1993. 220 pages; over 150 colour plates; 19 line-drawings. ISBN 84-88127-08-1. £20.00. This colourful book will surely achieve the authors' commendable hope of helping towards the conservation of birds in Spain. It provides excellent background to the countryside and 150 selected bird species, and is certain to encourage bird-interested visitors. The chapter on 'Regions of Spain' gives a broad idea of the habitats and the interesting birds of each area. There are five chapters in which well-chosen birds have been selected for comment on habitat, range and status. The information is concise, accurate and up to date, and is backed by excellent colour photographs, which will act as a further enticement to Spain. As help towards field identification, however, they carry the usual drawbacks of failing wholly to convey major characteristics and jizz. The photographs of larks (Alaudidae), the Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus and dark-phase (untitled) Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus may confuse rather than help. After selecting the 150 most interesting birds from the Spanish list, a chapter such as 'Other birds' becomes necessary. It is, however, a messy list, 'lumping' accidental buntings Emberiza with common finches (Fringillidae), for instance. The selection on further reading is helpful. The publishers also list their Spanish wares under their own selected term of 'great'. How could they fail to list in one of these sections the three greatest of them all - Chapman & Buck's Wild Spain and Unexplored Spain and Willoughby Verner's My Life amongst the Wild Birds of Spain?

Issue 3
Start Page: 
Wilson, J
Scott, B
Dawson, I
Boyd, M
Oddie, B
Gullick, T
Sullivan, S
Display Image: 

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