Livre Rouge des Oiseaux Nicheurs d'Alsace. (Centre d'Etudes Ornithologiques d'Alsace, Bitche, 1989. F 120.00).
Few regions of France have been as little explored by British birdwatchers as Alsace, but this northeastern comer of the country has a rich and varied avifauna, thanks to a wide variety of habitats, ranging from the Rhine to the mountains of the Haut-Vosges. Some 187 species nest, or nested until recently, in this region, but the Livre Rouge concerns itself with only just over 80 species--the declining or vulnerable ones, and those which have already been lost. There are many parallels with Britain--Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, Wryneck Jynx torquilla and Corncrake Crex crex losing ground (though not Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio)--making this a fascinating study. A selection of excellent colour plates adds to the appeal.
Where to Watch Birds in Catalonia: including Barcelona, Costa Brava, Ebro Delta, Andorra & Pyrenees. Edited by Josep del Hoyo and Jordi Sargatal. (Lynx Promocions S.A., Barcelona, 1989. 308 pages. £16.95) Each of the 15 chapters deals with a specific area, for which several itineraries are suggested. There is very useful information on the habitats and birds to be found, where to go (with maps), how long is needed for each itinerary and even details on where to stay, good places to eat and points of local interest. There is a speciality section, with precise details on sought-after Mediterranean.