By Brian Cave Privately published, 2016; pbk, 160pp; numerous colour photographs and charts; ISBN 978-1-5272-0040-1 £25.00 As the title implies, this is a detailed account of one man’s dedication to his local patch in Cornwall. This comprises a main survey area at the tip of the Lizard Peninsula and a larger hinterland, which contains a greater variety of habitats and thus attracts a wider variety of species. Cave has covered this area thoroughly for 46 years and gives a detailed description of the habitats accompanied by photographs and maps, and the methodology used. The systematic list gives a full account of his observations with charts to show five-yearly totals of migrants and the patterns of their occurrences by week. Seawatching data are given a similar treatment. Changes in the status of the complete suite of breeding birds is given generally thorough coverage, although the newly colonising Red-billed Choughs Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax get little attention. If you are interested in local avifauna, this is a typical example of the genre. However, the book left me frustrated. Because it is Cave’s personal diary, he has chosen to omit records of birds recorded by others, merely listing additional species in an appendix without any details. Thus it is not a complete avifauna for the area. Further, the book contains records of rarities which have never been submitted to BBRC including a European Roller Coracias garrulus, a Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus and a Western Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli, all illustrated by excellent images. Having made the effort to produce this fine book, perhaps the author would consider making details of all his sightings available for the county and national recording bodies. John Clark
Volume: 
Issue 7

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