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Birds of Senegal and The Gambia (Helm Field Guides) Paperback – Illustrated, 5 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd; First Edition edition (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408134691
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408134696
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'One of the best' --thetraveleditor.com (March 2011)

About the Author

Nik Borrow is a freelance artist and bird tour leader. He is the sole illustrator and co-author of Birds of Western Africa and its spin-off title, Birds of Ghana, both in the Helm Field Guides series. Ron Demey is a freelance ornithologist who wrote the text for both Birds of Western Africa and Birds of Ghana.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Moseley on 31 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are birdwatching in Gambia or Senegal, this is the book you want. I'm just about to head off to The Gambia for the second time, and I spent a while researching the market for the best bird guide. Ideally I wanted a book with photographic plates for all species, but I don't think such a book exists for all 568 species recorded in Senegambia (and if it did the cost would probably be prohibitive!) So this one is your best bet. Each species is clearly shown with a colour illustrative plate, and has as much supporting information (distribution, male/female variants, habitat etc) as you will need. Happy hunting and good luck!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By pedrostub on 11 May 2012
Format: Paperback
Bought this guide just before going to The Gambia for a short break, and found it really useful both whilst wandering about in bird rich areas with a local guide - who was very knowledgeable and used a battered copy of an old edition of the same guidebook, and for looking up birds later.
I'm not a regular bird watcher but like to identify unknown birds when out and about, and this easy to use guide made the holiday more interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike "Madbirder" Nelson on 21 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
Senegal and the Gambia or often visited together and with a wealth of West African birds this is a welcome addition to the field guides produced by these authors. This is a condensed version of the Birds of Western Africa with many of the same plates and artwork but just for this region. The size is also more portable than the larger Birds of Western Africa and will be easier to transport around in the field.

The guide begins with a traditional contents page followed by a nice map of the countries concerned with park locations, geographic features, roads, town and rivers. There is also a small inset map showing the countries place in West Africa. The how to use this book section covers the text and maps and plates. Pages on climate and habitat follow with a map of important bird areas of both countries. Taxonomy, organizations, bird topography, a glossary and abbreviations follow.

The main body of the book is of course the plates. Nik Borrow's excellent work is depicted in large, bright images, many of which are much larger than in previous guides. Plumages for male, female and juveniles are shown where relevant. Many species are also shown in flight like shorebirds, skuas, gulls, terns, raptors, nightjars and swifts. The artwork seems slightly brighter and crisper than in previous guides too. The plates are faced by the text which includes a multicolored map showing distribution in the area. Each species section begins with some notes on the species themselves before each individual species is covered. Descriptions of plumage and id characters are described with the main features to look out for in bold text. Habits and Habitat are covered next then a description of voice which is followed by a CD reference to Claude Chappuis's wonderful set of recordings from the region.
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Format: Paperback
Was told that the Helm guide was THE Bird Book for The Gambia so took it on my recent trip. It is a dense and so heavy paperback book, and I could have left it at home to refer to when I got back, but decided it was worth taking with me. I am not a truly committed birder but have really enjoyed having a bird book with me on trips abroad. I found this one really useful, easy to use and a pleasure to look through. Also seems robust. I was really glad to have it with me and I thought worth every £ and every kg. I wasn't familiar with the previous version but others I met who had the old version said this version is much better laid out and easier to use.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for a trip I made to the Gambia two years ago and left it with a young guide I met there at the time. On our return to the Gambia this year I decided to buy it again as I found it very comprehensive and useful in the field. I have several of these Helm guides and, to date, I think this is probably the best I have, would recommend it if you are visiting Senegal or Gambia, two of the top birding places on the planet.
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Good illustrations and descriptions and handy to carry around. Our Gambian bird guide borrowed it a couple of times, and it got passed around our canoe to fellow birders. We left it with our daughter who is living in The Gambia, and she is using it and writing notes in it, as we had done.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By My Pink Half of the Drainpipe on 12 July 2013
Format: Paperback
In the book by Barlow, Wacher and Disley Helm had the best regional field guide in Africa, and rivalling anything outside of Europe and N America. What on earth possessed Helm to replace it with this book? It is simply a subset of Nik Burrow's Field Guide to the birds of Western Africa which, while it had its place covering the wider region, was never as detailed or as beautifully illustrated as Barlow et al. The illustrations appear too dark and heavy; very poor by modern standards. The text is scanty: just three or four lines for each species and comes nowhere near the comprehensive coverage of identification, habits, voice, status and breeding etc. found in Barlow et al.
Frankly I am baffled at this decision. The Gambia is a major birding destination thanks in no small part to the excellent field guide it had. By this one thoughtless decision Helm have set back the cause of birds and birding in the Gambia enormously.
Buy Barlow's guide in preference to this; it's still available on the Internet.
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