Harriers of the British Isles. By Roger Clarke. (Shire Publications, Princes Risborough, 1990. 24 pages. Paperback £1.95). This is a good introduction to the group. It covers the main points of biological interest and is splendidly illustrated. Hen Harriers receive disproportionate attention, and some aspects of the other two species could have been more thoroughly researched. A section on comparisons between the species would have been a welcome addition to an otherwise well-written account. [JOHN DAY].
The Glorious Grouse: a natural and unnatural history. By Brian P. Martin (David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1990. 224 pages. £17.95). The first half of this book by the features editor of Shooting Times is concerned with the background to the Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus as a sporting bird. It quotes verbatim, often at length, from articles in country magazines and old sporting books. The natural history chapter briefly addresses most aspects and is culled mainly from general references and the practical booklet on grouse management by two of the 'boffins' (see p. 105) at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Banchory. Sadly, their recently published findings on grouse disease are not mentioned. Strong pleas are made to estates to respect the law concerning birds of prey, all of which are protected. On the contentious issue of public access to 'grouseland', he favours controls and on p. 212 suggests selling permits stating duration and purpose of visit. The book is liberally illustrated with La. Thorburn prints and old adverts for Burberrys.