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4.7 out of 5 stars139
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 November 2006
This is a beautiful photoguide which has proven really useful in identifying insects, animals and plants that i see on my travels. I keep it in my car's glovebox so that where ever I am I have access to it.

There are over 150 double page spreads with a full page of wonderful, bright, close up photos on the right and names and a short description / habits of all the creatures/plants shown on the left.

I am always getting phone calls from my friends asking to borrow it to find out what they have seen.

A really enjoyable buy!
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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2013
A lovely book if you are only interested to find out what you have seen in the garden or in the outside world.For that the photographs are just great,but if one would like to know a little more i.e. habitat or even breeding times then the book is very lacking.I imagine people take this book out with them to look up things they come accross,but I would find that too big a book to slip into my pocket,so rather waiting to use it until I come home.
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I got this particular book as there are often insects that I see that I would like to know more about. This book is ideal for looking for these, or other common animals, trees and flora, etc., in the British Isles.

You have a good introduction here which gives tips on photography and what kind of animals and flora you will expect to find in certain areas, with ideas of which of these areas to visit. Where this comes into its own though is with the easy to identify species pages. You have photos which are nice and clear of all the common plants, fungi, trees, animals, birds and insects, etc., and on the facing pages you have a quick easy to see explanation of what they are and other facts.

This is ideal to keep in the house in easy reach so that you can identify things in your garden, as well as taking in the car when travelling around. This is an ideal companion for the whole family to use and should help you take more notice of what is around you.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 July 2011
Whether you want a book to help you identify what's on your garden flowers, in your pond, at your bird-feeder, or in your trees, or visiting at night, this is a superb guide. Similarly, if you're out for a walk, or a visit elsewhere, the crystal-clear photos will help you identify whatever you're uncertain about, whether by the sea, in a wood, on the hills, by a river, a field, or wherever you might find wildlife, even in busy cities. Its size means its easy to tote around, and brief but informative text tells you all you need to know 'on the hoof'. A 'must have' for anyone who loves the outdoors, or even those who simply like to watch from their window. A wildlife treasure-trove!
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on 13 December 2014
Good - certainly better than the competition but I think it tries to be "all things to all men" and misses out a lot. TBH i already know thie difference between a mole and a hedgehog.... But having said that a stoat / weasel was sitting 10 feet away from me in a hedgerow last week and, using this book (which I had with me) I still didnt know which one it was. I had to check it on wikipedia when I got back, which is kind of annoying because I bought this book so I wouldn't have to "keep checking wikipedia when I got back". Turns out it was either a mole or a hedgehog.
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on 13 April 2009
Whether you're a photographer, or a bird spotter, or if you just ever wondered what that particular animal/bug or flower was; this book will answer it for you.
I have referred to it numerous times already, and it's only been in my posession for a short time. As a photographer/videographer, it's great to be able to title photographs/videos correctly.
The layout of this book is ingenius in itself, with high quality pictures to help in the identification process. Highly recommended for anyone that has an interest in wildlife.
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on 26 January 2016
This book must surely rank as an instant classic. The introductory pages are comprehensive and definitively detailed, yet surprisingly concise; and the main species descriptions are short and to the point, yet they will allow you to indentify every species in question in the field with ease. The photography is something else as well, with each photo being of the highest quality. These, combined with the artistic way in which they're placed on the - (conveniently paralleled to the main text) - pages; and the easy-to-use photo-grid references ensure that this guide is very user-friendly. But there is one tiny thing to be aware of, (and trust me, I'm beyond knit-picking here): the scientific name for the Woodpigeon is for some reason written as the same as the scientific name for the Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon in this book: miss-print alert! I can tell you now that the scientific name for the Woodpigeon is, Columba palumbus, not Columba livia.
All in all, this book is an essential addition to the bookshelf of every Brit., as I feel that every Briton desserves to learn about the key plant, animal and fungi species that they share these islands with.
Reviewed by Arron S. Munro.
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on 20 April 2012
This book is a must have for the nature enthusiast wanting to know just what that plant or animal they just saw is.

Given the scope, its very basic and is not as comprehensive as other titles in the series such as British insects (Collins Complete Guide - British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species) and British Wildflowers (Collins Complete Guide - British Wild Flowers: A photographic guide to every common species), but it is a very good starting point, to test the water and see how you get on.

It also makes an ideal gift for the budding nature enthusiast. I myself received several copies whilst studying an environmental degree, and passed them on to friends and family, who loved them.

I should say it's quite a lazy identification guide, in that it's very easy to get in to the routine of flicking through the pictures and then stopping when you find a photo that "looks right". However the more comprehensive guides for advanced users do tend to be more specific, covering only animals, insects, plants, trees etc.
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on 17 August 2011
This book is perfect for my needs, which are someone who wanders around the countryside with a camera and who spots different wildlife and flowers etc and then wonders what the hell they are, now I can quickly look them up and match them up to the photographs I have taken. It is clear concise and very easy to use and the number of species listed is very wide. I'm thinking for a total beginner to the world of nature it is ideal and the photographs are bright and clear and some species have more than one photograph showing different stages for example Blackthorn it shows a picture of the flower and the Sloes and in insects you see the caterpillar and moth/butterfly in some species.

Another interesting addition is hints & tips on taking good wildlife photographs (it is a little outdated as it talks about 35mm cameras but the basic ideas and comments can be applied to digital cameras) which I have found quite helpful and interesting.

All in all a superb little book which has broadened my knowledge of the English countryside/coastline.
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on 1 April 2015
This does what it's meant to, provide a general overview of the most common wildlife in the country; the only thing I'd question is including the word 'Complete' in the book's title, as it most certainly isn't that. However, if you want a first level guide before specialising into specific bird or insect books, then you'll probably find this OK.
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