Birds of the Middle East and North Africa. By P. A. D. Hollom, R. F. Porter, S. Christensen and Ian Willis. T. & A. D. Poyser, Calton, 1988. 320 pages; 710 colour illustrations; 182 line-drawings; 499 distribution maps. £14.00.This publication represents another major step forward in the continuing development of field guides. Peterson, Mountfort & Hollom's A Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe broke new ground when it was published in 1954 by including the birds of Europe in an illustrated field guide for the first time. The geographical area was expanded by Heinzel, Fitter & Parslow with the publication, in 1972, of their field guide The Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East. Despite the considerable increase during the last ten years or so of European birdwatchers visiting North Africa and the Middle East, no new field guide has attempted to cover the region with or without Britain and Europe. Indeed, as recently as September 1987, the Heinzel, Fitter & Parslow field guide was, not unexpectedly, voted the most useful field guide in North Africa and the Middle East by the members of the British Birds Rarities Committee (Brit. Birds 80: 401-403). That would no longer be the case, as Birds of the Middle East and North Africa, which has no pretensions to cover the birds of Britain and Europe and has, therefore, far more space to devote to the species of the region, is a better field guide to the birds of the area, by a large margin. 

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Glue, D
Lansdown, P
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