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Top 100 Birding Sites of the World Hardcover – 26 Sep 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Holland Publishers Ltd (26 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847731090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847731098
  • Product Dimensions: 27 x 2.6 x 32 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 983,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


' of the loveliest 'dip-into' books I have read in a long while.' -- BBC Wildlife

'...truly inspiring.' -- Bird Watching

'like a sumptuous magic carpet, offering tantalising glimpses...of birding destinations we should all...visit.'
-- Sunday Express


'...truly inspiring.'

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Keith Betton on 6 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Too many places, too little time - and, more importantly, not enough money! That is the challenge that faces all of us when we think of the many countries we could travel to in order to watch birds. Recently I looked closely at the brochure of a well-known birding tour operator and catalogued all of the trips I would really like to take over the next 20 years. The list covered forty places and the cost was nearly £170,000 at today's prices. So at 35p per location this book offers you the best alternative - and you (and your bank manager) can take pride in your low-carbon option.

Take a group of birdwatchers and their choices for the 100 top locations will be different, and Dominic Couzens recognises that his decisions will create debate. This book is divided into geographical regions, and then within those each site is described over three pages with about 1000 words of text and some impressive photographs plus a small map.

Most of us simply don't have the time, money, dedication or good health to travel the globe, so rather than discuss the long haul destinations I thought I'd discuss the short haul suggestions so you can get a feel for what is recommended. Most of these can be reached on relatively cheap flights from the UK.

In the UK we have so much choice, but who could argue with the choice of North Norfolk? The Outer Hebrides are another choice (but I think I'd have gone for the Shetland Isles!). France does well with three top sites. Rather like North Norfolk, nobody can argue that the Carmargue is anything other than fantastic. Similarly the and Lac du Der-Chantecoq and its neighbouring forests are a splendid place to see wintering Common Cranes and White-tailed Eagles. In the Pyrenees the French area of Organbidexka Col Libre is selected.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr on 16 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a gift to me and initially it looked like a typical nice "Coffee table" book, lots of large photographs and not a lot of content.
Having read through it, I now think that it has a good level of interesting content and whilst any book with this type of title will be subjective I have found it both interesting and informative .
I actually used it several times as the basis for planning a trip to the locations featured (although additional investigation on the Internet was required) I have not been disappointed and I plan to visit more if possible.
For most people visiting the exotic locations will only be a dream but it is good to have ambitions and to be fair there will be some more local sites may be within easy reach
An interesting addition to any keen birders coffee table
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By Paul Steventon on 18 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great book, very interesting
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Armchair travel on the trail of the most exotic species 27 Jan. 2009
By Robert M. DeKeyser - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a glorious book! The photography alone will bring bird aficionados hours of viewing pleasure (even though the photographs are not original to the book). The 100 birding sites are divided into regions, and for each site there is a short summary presentation (habitat, key species, best times to visit), followed by three pages or so of more detailed descriptions of the site and species, along with four or five pictures, usually of the flagship species, sometimes also of the habitat. Inside the front and back covers a large world map pinpoints the location of the 100 sites, and a list on the side allows for easy cross-referencing between the map and the page numbers, while also providing a ranking (in case you are curious, the top-ranked site worldwide is the Spiny Forest in SW Madagascar, and the last one to make it into the list is Liaoning in Eastern China). Too bad there is no alphabetical list; nor is there any practical information about how to get to the sites. A useful feature, however, is the alphabetical English index in the back of the book, which also lists the Latin names (under the English lemmas). Overall this book is a very felicitous combination of a coffee table book and a reference work for serious birders into "lists". Whether for armchair travel or for actual inspiration, it cannot be beat, and certainly not at this price.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A good book, but could be better 21 Feb. 2010
By P. Reese - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have a couple of problems with this book despite its good content. First, this book is too large. For some odd reason they designed it as a coffee table book rather than as a reference book. It is too tall to fit on any book case. Very inconvenient. My second complaint about the book is that although the sites are generally described, one would have expected a bird list of the birds one could see at each site. There is no list. The sites are ranked 1 through 100. It does appear that some of the ranked sites are there because they have a few endemics. At least that is the impression one arrives at from reading the description. How many of the 9000+ birds of the world can be seen at these 100 sites? That would have been interesting to know. And which ones are they.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good descriptions without the extras (directions, lists, etc.) 15 Dec. 2011
By Brian Allen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I was delighted to receive this as a gift from my staff. The best aspects of the book are the sites. I have been fortunate to visit 20 of them and agree with the selection of these and the other 80. It is a very difficult task to select the top 100 for example, the author stated if it was based just on the number of species present it would include only tropical sites and mostly just in South America. The sites are based more on birding experience so sites that are great for migration (eg. Pt. Pelee)are included as well as other northern sites with great birding.

The sites are fairly evenly distributed across all of the continents and I was pleased to see it wasn't heavily biased toward North America or Europe. This is not a bird finding guide like Nigel Wheatley's series (eg. Where to Watch Birds in South America) which is packed with maps and logistic information. This is simply the list of the best places organized by continent. The information on what the habitat is like along with excellent photos of the birds and places makes this a great book to review and dream about future trips.

This is a coffee table size book and when not left out for other birders to see will be a challenge to store on a bookshelf as mentioned in another review. Still I would not hesitate on recommending this to anyone that enjoys traveling in search of birds.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Wish List 1 Jun. 2010
By JP - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chose this book over several related ones based on Amazon reviews. Highly recommend. Only downside is spots are ranked 1 - 100, but the list only appears, out of order, on the inside leaf. Not ranked in terms of number of species to be seen, but on general appeal of the place. Thus some places will only give a small number of species, but they are quality ones.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very helpful to get a general idea about where to go 2 May 2013
By FFDR - Published on
Verified Purchase
We need a book that gives us a general idea about the top birding spots in the world so that we can combine our international travels w/ birding. This book does just that.

Each destination gets 1-3 pages. The stats include: a map showing the site in the country, habitat, key species, time of year (to visit), followed by a more detailed introduction about the place and a few pictures of the star species. As soon as we got the book, we found that a site in Germany that was only 2 hrs drive from our parents home and we are already excited about visiting it this summer!

The sites include:
Euro: 17
Asia: 19
Africa: 17
Australasia: 9
Antarctica: 1
S. America: 13
Central America: 7
N. America: 17 (15 in the US)

So why 4 stars?
- A lot of pictures are digitally cropped and blown up to a very large format to fill the book. Unfortunately, picture quality suffers. A lot of images are very fuzzy.
- The author touches on the best birding spot on a very high-level, and skip a lot of destinations. For example, Poyang Lake in China is a major birding destination to see birds/crowns wintering there from Siberia. The founder of International Crane Foundation calls the place "the Serengeti for birds". I wish that the book is a more serious comprehensive guide book for "where to bird" that covers more spots in the top birding countries.

Nevertheless, the book is great in giving a general idea about which country to go. Once we get the general direction, we then fill the details such as logistics, how to get there, etc. with our extensive Google research.
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