One Man’s Marshes: the birds of Lymington and Keyhaven

Published on 29 October 2018 in Book reviews

By Ed Wiseman

Powell Wildlife Art

Pbk, 192pp; 52 coloured drawings, 42 photographs, one map ISBN 978-1-999-899806

£14.99 buy it from the BB Bookshop

The Keyhaven area in southwest Hampshire is well known for its nationally important breeding concentrations of gulls and terns, a substantial list of vagrants, and its fine seawatching in favourable conditions in spring, which often features a heavy passage of Pomarine Skuas Stercorarius pomarinus. All of this and more is covered in this new book by Ed Wiseman, who spent most of his working life as the resident warden of this reserve on the Solent. It is an absolutely superb publication, with fascinating sections on the history of local people, going back to Colonel Hawker’s hunting days in the nineteenth century; the development and decline of the salt extraction industry, which helped shape the present-day area; a description of the habitats and their subsequent development as a nature reserve; an account of bird recording in the area since the 1950s; and a detailed systematic list of all the species recorded. The book, designed and published by Dan and Rosemary Powell, features plenty of their excellent colour artwork and a selection of photographs including several aerial views of the area. This is an essential purchase for anyone with an interest in this reserve or indeed the wildlife of the Solent and Hampshire.

John Clark