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signet (UK)

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The Handbook of Bird Identification: For Europe and the Western Palearctic (Helm Identification Guides)
The Handbook of Bird Identification: For Europe and the Western Palearctic (Helm Identification Guides)
Price: £47.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Just passing the test...., 13 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is about the only e-guide for birds of Western Europe at the moment, and as I wanted some references on my Kindle for birding trips abroad, I stood the expense and downloaded this- although I own the hardback version.
If you are familiar with the book, then you will be aware that the illustrations are of variable quality- the skuas and gulls are fantastic whilst the warblers are rather washed out and insipid looking, though they do not distort that much when enlarged on my tablet. Published in 1998, some parts of this book need updating, especially with regard to taxonomy, although the text is well written, concise and accurate(for the time), though the distribution maps are a little small.
The real problem with this kindle version is that there is no index as such to the species themselves; you must click onto the family, then scroll through the pages until you reach the bird required. The illustrations can be accessed by clicking onto the species name and comparing text with picture is a bind as it is difficult to view each respectively.
The Handbook... is a hefty investment unless you want to carry out the much superior Collins guide around, the latter not seemingly available for the android market just yet and this may never realistically be tenable . Unfortunately, I consider this a compromise really, although the original hardback edition was an excellent book at the time, the Kindle version does not do it justice. Do we all have to own iPads, iPhones and the like merely to get a decent digital download in the UK? The US have some cracking titles that work so well on Kindle that they are a joy to own.


Petrels, Albatrosses, and Storm-Petrels of North America: A Photographic Guide
Petrels, Albatrosses, and Storm-Petrels of North America: A Photographic Guide
Price: £26.47

5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference work, 8 Jan. 2015
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A superb treatment of this group of seabirds and given that I live in the UK, just as relevant as the US. This is probably the best downloaded book on birds that I've bought with superb photos that don't distort when enlarged and actually enhances identification rather than confuse as so many id books do.
Covering large and small shearwaters,gadfly & storm petrels with a few vagrants, this book will not only guide you how to identify them, but how to observe them too, though the emphasis is on pelagics. So I'm not going to see most of these in the UK, but I urge any British birder who has any interest in this group of seabirds to buy this: it will be the perfect companion to the Ashley & Flood volumes


Aquostic (Stripped Bare)
Aquostic (Stripped Bare)
Price: £6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 tracks missing on mp3 format, 3 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Loved this album and refreshing take on SQ classics, though there a little too much accordion in it for me which makes some of the songs almost hillbilly in tone. Still, I've been playing this endlessly for a few days now.
My major gripe is why there are 24 tracks on the CD version and 22 on the mp3 version? Little Lady and Mystery Song are missing and I didn't realise that until today


Sony Universal All Round In-Ear Headphones for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black
Sony Universal All Round In-Ear Headphones for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black
Offered by British_Bargains
Price: £7.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Fab sounds from these..., 3 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought 2 pairs of these a few years ago from a local supermarket and they have served me remarkably well; I am still using one of those pairs! I have bought another 2 pairs from Amazon, one for my Kindle, the other spare just in case- after all we all know how unreliable headphones can be!
Given that they are incredible cheap, these Sony button phones have a crisp, clear sound with a great basal quality- well they are on my MP3 player, cell phone and Kindle anyway. And just as importantly, they are so comfortable to wear in the ears and there are three sizes of buds so you take your pick. In short, if you want a pair of decent sounding, inexpensive headphones that don't make you look like something out of Doctor Who when you wear them, then I can thoroughly recommend these.


Becoming Johnny Vegas
Becoming Johnny Vegas
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A book to change your mind about JV, 3 Jan. 2015
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If, like me, you thought that Michael Pennington aka Johnny Vegas, was one of those loud, drunken abusive Northerners albeit with an eloquent turn of phrase, then read this book. I was inspired to buy this book after watching a TV programme several years ago where he traipsed across the USA asking various clerics some rather pertinent religious questions whilst learning that JV actually studied for the priesthood! The book covers his early years up his breakthrough at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival and, as you will expect, is incredibly funny amongst the more sombre tones of the book. It is very perceptive of human nature in general and, by the end of the book, the reader can almost understand the whys and wherefores relating to the persona of Johnny.
And that's why I've knocked a star off. Michael has "conversations* with Johnny which is very intriguing, but whose idea was the monstrous gothic typeface for the thoughts of the latter? It is difficult to read and spoils what is otherwise a great read. Nevertheless, this autobiography is well worth reading; just goes to show how you can't judge the book by it cover.....


Bill Oddie's Little Black Bird Book
Bill Oddie's Little Black Bird Book
Price: £3.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written in a simple, 3 Jan. 2015
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If you ever wanted to know about the psychological makeup of a birder, then this is THE book you must read. Although written over 30 years ago, this is still the reference of the mentality of a birder. And if anyone doesn't inwardly split their sides at the chapter entitled "Fooling the Committee" then re-read the entire book immediately!
Bill has left the book untouched as it was written all those years ago without any updating and certainly doesn't suffer because of it. I read it first time around and subsequently gave it to all of my non-birding friends who got the point eventually. Beautifully written in a simple, unpretentious style with laugh out loud moments most birders secretly knew at the time, but never admitted to.


Audubon Birds Pro: A Field Guide to North American Birds
Audubon Birds Pro: A Field Guide to North American Birds
Price: £2.60

1.0 out of 5 stars This app does not work properly- beware!, 16 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this app as I fancied a USA guide on my Kindle rather than cart the Sibley book around.
Downloading this was fine until I wanted to use it offline when a further download was required to access species when no WiFi was available. All the images disappeared from both the offline and online versions: uninstalling and reinstalling the app as per the instructions did not cure the problem. In fact, when I reinstalled it from my Cloud, it told me that " NO RECENT SPECIES AVAILABLE" . I have emailed the provider, though I don't hold out much hope judging by the comments on Amazon.com ( the USA version of Amazon.co.uk).
After installation, the app keeps asking you to register, wants a password and create an account- it appears to be rather like Facebook for birdwatchers. You don't have to do these as you can cancel them all and register at another time, though I did note that there was no NO option here......All I wanted was an e-book of sorts for birds of the USA, not a social network app. I have deleted it from my Kindle, though it's still in my Cloud- there's no point in having if you can't access this outline


Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971]
Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971]
Dvd ~ Rachel Gurney
Price: £36.61

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only took me over 40 years to watch this!, 30 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I remember watching this in my early teens, but not taking that much notice of it at the time. I was inspired to buy this after watching several repeat episodes over the last few years and realising what great drama this series offered.
I have now watched all 17 discs since acquiring the boxed set several months ago and it was rather bizarre that as I viewed the period covered by World War one in the series, this coincided with the 100th Anniversary of that conflict. Brilliant depictions of the ravages of war played by Simon Williams as David Bellamy and Christopher Beeny as Edward( the footman). In fact every actor-including the late, great Gordon Jackson as Hudson the butler- could not be faulted for their abilities to portray life in London in the early 20th Century. This series gave great depth to a multitude of varying storylines without really detracting from the real backbone of the show which centred on the Bellamys and their servants. What a pity they don't make them like this anymore; certain period dramas are a pale imitation in comparison.


The Helm Guide to Bird Identification
The Helm Guide to Bird Identification
Price: £13.19

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC REBORN, 30 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the hardback version of the earlier version on this book neatly 25 years ago when books on the subject of "difficult" species groups were seldom published and, back then, I thought it was superb and hugely informative for its size
This new version, which was one of the first books I downloaded onto my newly acquired Kindle, is even better and reflects the modern treatment of some species such as large Gulls and vagrant Warblers. The text is more extensive( with a valuable "Where and When" intro) and written with clarity, yet conciseness , without rambling into specialist ornithological terms so both the beginner and advanced birders can understand. There are some new illustrations of the "new" species with some revisions of the older ones and yet again wonderfully reproduced with relevant accompanying text.
This book will appeal to birders on every level; from those who can't tell a Carrion Crow from a Raven to those struggling with juvenile Herring & Caspian Gulls. Well worth the £11.32 I paid--just to look at it!!! Now if Bloomsbury or Helm can provide a Kindle version of its counterpart-The Birders Guide to European and Middle Eastern Birds- published in 1996, my life will be complete.....


Kindle Fire HDX: Go From Kindle Fire HDX Beginner to Master in 1 Hour or Less! (Kindle Fire HDX for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Mastering Your Device Quickly)
Kindle Fire HDX: Go From Kindle Fire HDX Beginner to Master in 1 Hour or Less! (Kindle Fire HDX for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Mastering Your Device Quickly)
Price: £2.51

4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy read, 30 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is fine if you are a complete Kindle or tablet novice like me and points you in the right direction to get the most of your device. However, it is really tailored to the USA market so a few chapters are not relevant to the UK market e.g. Amazon Instant Video and I've marked it down a star due to the fact it contains links to the author's other commercial interests which are not related to the topic. I downloaded this free on my Kindle last week, so I can't really grumble.
Well worth having though if you can download it for free!


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