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5.0 out of 5 stars content
Use it loads,best bird book for fast recognition in the field.I'm no twitcher just an enthusiast.Book may be old but how quickly do birds evolve??
Published 6 months ago by bobz

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bargain even at this price
If you're looking for an inexpensive ID guide you may think "well, birds haven't changed much, I'll save a bob or two". I had this guide for years and my summing up would be 'very frustrating to use'. The illustrations may have been state of the art at the time, but matching those little paintings to the thing that's just flown past you is strictly for the expert. There...
Published on 4 Feb 2012 by Peasant


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5.0 out of 5 stars content, 23 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East (Collins Pocket Guide) (Paperback)
Use it loads,best bird book for fast recognition in the field.I'm no twitcher just an enthusiast.Book may be old but how quickly do birds evolve??
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bargain even at this price, 4 Feb 2012
By 
Peasant (Deepest England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East (Collins Pocket Guide) (Paperback)
If you're looking for an inexpensive ID guide you may think "well, birds haven't changed much, I'll save a bob or two". I had this guide for years and my summing up would be 'very frustrating to use'. The illustrations may have been state of the art at the time, but matching those little paintings to the thing that's just flown past you is strictly for the expert. There are dozens upon dozens of obscure birds you'll never see cluttering up the pages with the ones you'll actually encounter, and the keys and text are pretty hard to follow unless you're highly motivated. This book was produced for the serious birdwatcher and birdwatchers will, of course, be happy to pay our for a newer, better-illustrated but equally technical book. If you want something inexpensive for the family or as an easily used, informative layman's guide, go for the Book of British Birds (AA RSPB) which is larger format, giving a better range of larger illustrations, and has a lot more interesting background information, and is usually available second-hand for about the same budget price.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coolest field guide on the block, 2 Dec 2010
This is apparently the original edition of "Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle East", written by Hermann Heinzel, Richard Fitter and John Parslow. In 1995, the book was substantially re-written, and essentially morphed into another book. I happen to have a copy of the Swedish translation of the 1972 edition, and yes, it sure could need a rebind!

As a kid, I considered Heinzel-Fitter-Parslow to be the coolest birdbook around, much cooler than Bruuns and Singers book "Birds of Britain and Europe". For starters, it contained more species, since it also included North Africa, Turkey and parts of the Middle East. I particularly enjoyed the Hypocolius and the Ring-Necked Parakeet, LOL. The book also included more subspecies, with a penchant for those living on the Canary Island, the Azores, and Madeira. Did I mention the Parakeet? Thus, it was a perfect book to show your kiddie friends. Or showing off.

Later, I realized that "real" bird-watchers actually preferred Bruun and Singer, while poor Heinzel et.al. were hardly ever mentioned in any context, at least not here in Sweden. I also noticed that the Swedish translation contained some curious misprints. Some birds on the plates are never mentioned in the actual text (a humorous error - usually the opposite is the case in bird books), some maps are missing, etc. If the book is good or bad as a field guide to birds, I honestly don't know. I told my parents to buy it, only to have the flashiest birdbook in the neighborhood. :-D

BTW, I noticed that the new 1995 edition looks more like Bruun's and Singer's book, which is almost tantamount to HIGH TREASON. LOL! However, it contains more parakeets, so perhaps I should let it pass...

OK, sorry for this nostalgia trip, but I just couldn't help myself.

;-)
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