Birds of North Rona and Sula Sgeir. By Seabirds at Sea Team: Stuart Benn, Stuart Murray and Mark L. Tasker. (Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough, 1989. 47 pages. Paperback £5.00). A remarkably comprehensive and concise publication on two of Scotland's remotest islands. Intriguing sections on their human history are complemented by full systematic lists which contain some surprising migrants. The islands' immense value to seabirds is underlined by an extremely useful account of their seasonal use of surrounding waters, highlighting their potential vulnerability. The authors are to be congratulated on the informative, yet thoroughly readable, text. A must for seabird enthusiasts.
The Birds of Cambridgeshire. P. M. M. Bircham. (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989. 280 pages. £19.50.) A detailed account of the birds of Cambridgeshire (excluding Huntingdonshire) up to the end of 1986, including the changes that have taken place since Lack's (1934) work with the same title; also a summary of the best localities. The systematic list adds 41 species to Lack's total of 253, but this includes Ruddy Shelduck Tadoma ferruginea, all records of which are likely to refer to escapes. Other species recorded as 'escapes' have been excluded, even the extraordinary breeding record of Crowned Cranes Bakarica pavonina (two young reared at Fulbourn Fen in October-December 1959: Nature in Cambridgeshire 2:36). There are many useful histograms but, on the debit side, a liberal sprinkling of typographical errors.
Les Oiseaux d'Islande: ecologie et biogeographie. By Michel Breuil. Illustrations by Jean Chevallier. (Editions R. Chabaud-Lechevalier, Paris, 1989. 288 pages. FF195.00) This book covers much of the recent knowledge on Icelandic birds found in local and foreign books and magazines. There are chapters on the history of breeding birds, on passage migrants and vagrants, with a list of accidentals (incomplete), on protection and exploitation, and on different habitats, including a list of birdrich localities. There are many drawings of birds and 23 photographs. The distribution maps are enlarged and sometimes revised versions of those in BWP, occasionally somewhat inaccurate. In short, this is a fine small handbook.