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signet (UK)

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Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland
Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A 5 Star reference work, 24 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have just purchased this for the incredible price of a fiver- a whopping £65.00 off the hard book price! As I will be using this as a research tool-albeit infrequently- I thought this was too good a price to miss whatever the format or its shortfalls.
I've spent an hour just casually reading through it and there is an awful of data there, thanks to bank of 40,000 or volunteers and when any reader ploughs through this tome, you will realise what a monumental amount of work has been carried out here from the methodology used to collect and collate the data, right through to the actual analyses of observer records; these chapters are very lengthy and are probably worth a volume in their own right.
The species accounts are my main resource and are more than adequately covered, though population numbers are not given, but are compared to the atlases of 1968-72 and 1981- 84. As one reviewer has noted, trying to isolate a single species can be problematic as the index is designed for the printed version only; by accessing the search tool and then typing in the species, a list of every mention of that species is offered, but is subtitled to the various chapters and by scrolling down to "Species Accounts" , you can find what you are looking for; not the most efficient method, but perhaps can be improved upon at a later date, surely? Also, some introductory paragraphs are repeated, perhaps due to the conversion of a Kindle format. If you feel as though the info is too crowded on your Kindle, you can still read it on your PC, which I probably will most of the time.
In spite of these minor gripes, this is an excellent purchase for the current price of £5.99, though whether I would splash out the RRP as an e-book is debatable.


Bill Oddie Unplucked: Columns, Blogs and Musings (Bloomsbury Nature Writing)
Bill Oddie Unplucked: Columns, Blogs and Musings (Bloomsbury Nature Writing)
Price: £3.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humour in bite sized chunks, 20 April 2015
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This latest book from Bill Oddie is a much more upbeat affair than his last volume "One Flew into the Cuckoo's Egg" and a return to his splendidly humorous prose style which is so effective in its simplicity. Unplucked... is a collection of various articles written over the last few years that have formerly been published in newspapers and magazines and here, you have the "uncut" versions of them. Having given up on reading the so called popular press years ago, these essay- styled musings are new to me and loved them all. All the articles are short in length and range from the state of modern birding to the tadpoles in Bill's garden! Included in the book are some of Bill's blogs( so you finally found out how to use a computer then, Bill- welcome to the 21st Century...) that originally featured on his website.
I think it's because we are so familiar with the sound of Bill's voice, that his words on a written page resonate so much and I have personally found this adds to the enjoyment when I read any of his books, and this one's no different.
This book is a joy to read and it's great to see Bill back to his comic self.


One Flew into the Cuckoo's Egg
One Flew into the Cuckoo's Egg
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a funny book, it's much more than that., 31 Mar. 2015
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I have read and reread this book several times over the last few months and I may have to read it again a few times more. I have read all of Bill's books over the years and being a fellow birder, chuckled and roared over his writing. Written in the same unpretentious style as his other volumes, this is a more general autobiography that covers Bill's early life, his rise into fame and, of course, his illness that has been misinterpreted in my opinion by the media in general. His passion for wildlife- birds in particular- is all all too evident here, but takes more of a back seat and his childhood and later life takes precedence.
My overall impression is that the author is a good man at heart, but there is an incredible sadness that is written between the lines of this book that is never truly stated openly as such, but nevertheless, pervades from start to finish. There are few laugh out lines in this autobiography, indeed Bill's comic tendencies are tempered by some very serious moments. The self- interview towards the end of the book can appear very self indulgent at times, however it is very revealing about the man himself and is worth sticking with.
I learned a great deal about Bill Oddie from this book and whilst it may not be an easy read at times, it is highly engaging with the reader at the same time. If you want a book concentrating on Bill's birding exploits, then don't buy this: give yourself a treat by buying " Gone Birding" which is probably my favourite birding book. However if you want to know more about the man behind the Goodies, the writer, broadcaster and the wildlife TV presenter, then get this book: it will dispel many preconceptions. A very brave book, Bill; you have my eternal admiration.


The Champions: The Complete Series [DVD]
The Champions: The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Gaunt
Price: £31.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Champion of a series!, 29 Mar. 2015
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I was a mere lad of 10 when this was broadcast and although styles have dated it little, the series itself is still slick, well acted and vibrant of colour( as most series of this kind were at the time). All 30 episodes are shown plus a documentary about the reunion of Stuart Damon, William Gaunt and Alexander Bastido in 2006- together again for the first time in 40 years- which is hidden gem on disc 8.
Whilst the discs are great, there are two booklets accompanying them which tell how the series was made, but the black typeface is really small against a fire engine red background that is very hard to read properly. Still, this doesn't detract from what is an excellent piece of British 1960s nostalgia. If you remember the programme, buy it and enjoy how proper TV was produced.


Beware of the Dog: Rugby's Hard Man Reveals All
Beware of the Dog: Rugby's Hard Man Reveals All
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A better than average autobiography, 10 Mar. 2015
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I read this due to the fact that I was a huge admirer of the man as a rugby player ( how the country could do with a sportsman of his calibre these days...) and enjoy his knowledgeable commentary whenever England take to the field. I was quite dumbfounded at some of the facts of his life as I was completely unaware of events when he was very young and the first chapter is particularly both disturbing and brave at the same time. However, the rest of the book , whilst written eloquently , can come across as rather cold and distant and I cannot decide whether it's a result his childhood experiences or the rather formal prose style Brian adopts for the book; you can tell he is former barrister!
I would have liked to have known more about the man himself, but perhaps this was too much to expect from such a book. Having said that, I really enjoyed this book about a proud Englishman that is both well written and hugely informative about the game of Rugby. Loved it! I've given five stars for the man AND the book....


As Time Goes By - Complete Series 1-4 [DVD]
As Time Goes By - Complete Series 1-4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Judi Dench
Price: £15.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle humour with brilliant actors, 10 Mar. 2015
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This review goes for this collection, the series 5-9 boxed set as well as the reunion specials.
I have watched a few repeated episodes over the years and often held the impression that ATGB was in the rather twee, sedate middle class sitcom mould that the BBC has done to death. However, as I have grown older, I cannot decide whether it's a sign of my advancing years or this series itself that brings me a cheery smile as I watch it. The story is superb: two estranged lovers reunited after 38 years apart and their efforts to rekindle past emotions. The casting is a dream with Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer totally believable as a couple at the heart of the show and even the rest of the cast are not merely fodder as so often in the case in so many sitcoms. Geoffrey Palmer has cornered the market for TV grumpies and Judy Dench shows an immaculate sense of comic timing. Lionel and Jean appear such a real life pair thanks to the excellent writing of Bob Larbey. In a world where foul language and references to bodily functions pass for humour, this inoffensive, gentle comedy is as much a relief as a precious joy to behold.


Ex-Pro 52mm Crown Shaped Hood for Canon, Nikon Fuji, Sony, Leica, Zeiss, Panasonic, Lens & Filters (52mm front thread)
Ex-Pro 52mm Crown Shaped Hood for Canon, Nikon Fuji, Sony, Leica, Zeiss, Panasonic, Lens & Filters (52mm front thread)
Offered by ExpressPro
Price: £3.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 27 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this specifically for the Panasonic FZ200 as I was unable to get a back up genuine one. This hood will actually screw into the end of the lens and not clip onto it as the original Panasonic one does. Comes with a spacer ring at the base so it can cause vignetting at wider angles. The petals are not as wide as the original, but will protect the lens from most dust and dirt when in the field.
A satisfactory and cheap alternative


Birds of the Middle East
Birds of the Middle East
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good field guide for tablets, 27 Feb. 2015
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One of the better ID guides for Kindle with decent illustrations that can be enlarged without too much distortion with maps and text adjacent to each species in standard field guide format. Each species can be accessed instantly by the back index. Concise and informative descriptions too.
Cannot access the vocalizations as there are no links though I was unaware they were included: not too fussed about these as I have all of them in other media, but it would've been nice to have them.
Recommended


BLACK Leather Case Cover for Creative Zen & Zen MX 4gb 8gb 16gb & 32gb with Belt Clip
BLACK Leather Case Cover for Creative Zen & Zen MX 4gb 8gb 16gb & 32gb with Belt Clip
Offered by iGadgitz
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Loose fit on Zen MX, 27 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Got this really to protect my excellent Zen MX which I've had for years. A solidly built cover though not without its drawbacks. Unfortunately it's not a snug fit and a little loose when it's opened up so can slide out: it cannot be reversed as the earphones/charge connector won't be accessible with the cover on. Also, when the cover is closed, the snap on button is directly above the Zen navigator buttons so you can inadvertently slip a track or too. Would have been nice to disconnect the belt clip/stand so it could fit snugly in the pocket without feeling bulky. Better than nothing I suppose.......


Sibley Birds of North America
Sibley Birds of North America
Price: £12.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive bird app for the USA, 6 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As one UK reviewer has already stated, the Yanks are winning the e- market for bird identification hands down.
I already own several Sibley hard copies and this brilliant app negates the need for carrying any of those tomes in the field. It certainly does not let any of the original books down like so many ebooks do, but goes a long way to assist identification by including songs and calls plus an excellent comparison feature. Unlike most ebooks that I have, species are easily indexed and searchable both in taxonomic and alphabetic modes. If you have the hard copy, I won't go into the accurate plates and text- just to say that they can be enlarged without distortion. Once purchased, you will have to download further files, so the whole process will take around 15 minutes. And it is possible to access the app offline too.
If you regularly visit the States or Canada then get this perhaps in conjunction with the excellent Crossley Eastern Bird ebook


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