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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars6
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on 12 October 2012
I have been terribly keen on getting my hands on this book as, having met the author on a holiday in the region, I was sure that his deep knowledge and love of the subject would translate into an excellent guide to the birds of the Mara. The end result is even better than expected. The book is beautifully produced, the photographs are sumptuous, and the captions clear, concise and informative.

I look forward to enjoying this guide on many birding trips to the Mara.
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on 23 October 2012
As if the anticipation of an upcoming Masai Mara trip wasn't sufficient, this volume arrives and ratchets up the excitement. Birds of the Masai Mara is not an exhaustive guide but it is a comprehensive one showing all the birds an interested observer is likely to see on safari. It is written in a very accessible fashion, so it's certainly not just for the twitching community. And the quality of the photos is stunning. Highly recommended.
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on 5 August 2015
This is a brilliant book! I'm no bird expert so I can’t vouch for its accuracy but I’ve found it invaluable for identifying birds I've photographed on safaris to the Masai Mara. The images in this book are high quality and I love the way the author has included shots to show variations - as well as the expected male/female shots there are also immature birds and breeding plumage in some cases which makes it so much easier to ID a bird. There are also very helpful images of vultures & raptors in flight.

The text that accompanies each picture is concise and adds plenty of useful facts to aid identification such as size, key characteristics, bird calls and where you're likely to see the bird. The book itself is helpfully divided into habitats which makes it quite easy to find a bird you're trying to ID. (This may confuse you initially if, for example you think all kingfishers would be under 'Marsh & Water' - some are insect eaters and are correctly found under 'Woodland and Scrub').

At £18 it’s a tad on the expensive side but I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone looking for a book on birds of the Masai Mara.

Having said all that, why only 3 stars? Sadly the copy I received began to fall apart almost immediately due to poor binding. In less than 48 hours of flicking back and forth through it, the front cover had come off and large gaps were forming between bound sections. Such a pity as this is an otherwise excellent book. This copy is going back today but ill re-order a replacement in a couple of weeks and hope for a better version. If it is, then it will definitely warrant 5 stars.
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on 15 January 2015
A beautiful book, full of very nice images and very informative. It was great to use in the field in the mornings and made for interesting reading while I relaxed in my hammock in the afternoons. I saw lots of different bird books while on safari and found this one most enjoyable to use. Even my guide was using this in the Mara - says it all!
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on 1 September 2013
Although Kenya has many amazing locations for birders to explore I still think that the ultimate highlight of any trip there a visit to the rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara. It is certainly one of the finest wildlife reserves in Africa not only for birds but also herds of grazing and their attendant carnivores. Combining the riverine woodlands and grassy slopes of the Oloololo escarpment a three day visit can easily reap you a haul of around 200 species. In fact 550 species have been recorded from the reserve.

This book is packed with good quality photographs, primarily taken by the author, and it provides background information on 202 species. It is clearly aimed at a general market and not at hard-core birders. Identification features are kept to a minimum with the emphasis being on where and when the bird might occur. These texts are organized by six main habitat types, together with a separate section for those species that mainly fly over plus another on night birds.

The choice of species is clearly slanted towards those that are most easily encountered by those on a typical wildlife holiday. Although birders will enjoy the photographs, a lot of species have been excluded so it would be a frustrating book if relied upon other than as an additional resource. Taking cisticolas as an example (a group where photographs can be a real asset) the only species offered are Rattling Cisticola Cisticola chiniana and Pectoral-patch Cisticola C. brunnescens. I can immediately think of five other cisticolas that I saw in the Masai Mara on my last trip - and in particular Stout Cisticola C. robustus which has not been included. Easy-to-see non-passerines are generally better represented however. The only error I spotted was for Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus, where the underwing pattern is described as having a narrow black edge in males and wider in females (in fact it is the reverse of this).

For general wildlife tourists this book is excellent but birders need to understand that a lot has been excluded, therefore reducing its value to them.
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on 4 July 2015
Easy to use and with excellent plates showing both male, female and juvenile plumage
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