Book reviews

World year-listing is not entirely new as a challenge, although it has become more competitive in recent years. But no matter how keen you are, there is nearly always someone who is keener still, and in 2015 Noah Strycker set himself another goal: to become the first person to see half the world’s birds in one year. His haul of 6,042 species and how he managed to achieve it is the subject of this book…

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Some books impress the reader more by their very existence than by their quality, and a few impress equally on both counts. This is one of those books…

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This lavish, large-format regional atlas compares the results of three tetrad-based surveys of breeding birds carried out in the London Natural History Society (LNHS) recording area…

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Excluding accounts that appeared as parts of more general works (such as the Victoria County History series), around 40 county avifaunas appeared in book form from the midpoint of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1866 to the end of the Edwardian era in 1910. That Shropshire was not among this great wave of local avifaunas was due to the untimely death, from cirrhosis of the liver on 1st July 1892, of William Beckwith…

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I am pleased to say that Hetty Saunders’ book does not disappoint, and is required reading for anyone interested in Baker, his book, and story-telling around nature themes…

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The style of the Crossley Guides will now be familiar to many birders on this side of the Atlantic: a large-format (in this case with pages around 185 x 245 mm) softback with full-page, composite illustrations comprising many different photographic images of birds superimposed on an appropriate background scene. ‘Painting by pixels’, as Richard Crossley calls it…

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This large-format volume covers 44 species of waders, or shorebirds, that occur regularly in Europe plus a further 38 species from North America and Asia that have occurred as scarce visitors or vagrants. Extensive introductory material discusses various aspects of the life history of these birds but the bulk of the book is made up of the individual species accounts, which are lavishly illustrated with numerous high-quality images…

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This new book follows the 2008 volume on the Barn Owl Tyto alba in Britain by the same author and publisher. It covers broadly similar ground but is brought up to date and is far more lavishly illustrated. The design is very good and the photographs are well chosen to illustrate the points being made in the text, though they are not all of the highest quality…

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The Collins Bird Guide is widely regarded as the finest field guide ever produced and it is likely that most readers will already own a copy of the second edition. Users of mobile devices running Apple’s iOS operating system have had access to a Collins Bird Guide app for several years but those with devices running the Android operating system have had a long wait for an equivalent version. This situation is now remedied…

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For older British birders the name of Arthur Singer may ring a bell. Perhaps without realising it, many birders in the 1970s and 1980s will have been familiar with his work, since he was the illustrator of the Hamlyn Guide to European Birds, first published in 1970…

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