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12 Reviews
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a beauty
This is a fantastic reference book for birders of all levels. Lovely colour plates and great descriptive text that will have you drooling. Not a guide for field use though, and you may need to reinforce your bookshelf. For me it was love at first sight.
Published on 4 Feb 2006 by Amazon Customer

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but maybe not the best for kindle ?
3 stars is specifically for the kindle version. I have not had the book long so will take a while to fully assess but seems very comprehensive with more than enough detail for a not very experienced birder such as myself. This was purchased while on holiday in Crete for reference as I had not bought along a field guide. The point about this not being ideal for kindle is...
Published on 26 Dec 2011 by MikeH


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a beauty, 4 Feb 2006
This is a fantastic reference book for birders of all levels. Lovely colour plates and great descriptive text that will have you drooling. Not a guide for field use though, and you may need to reinforce your bookshelf. For me it was love at first sight.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but maybe not the best for kindle ?, 26 Dec 2011
3 stars is specifically for the kindle version. I have not had the book long so will take a while to fully assess but seems very comprehensive with more than enough detail for a not very experienced birder such as myself. This was purchased while on holiday in Crete for reference as I had not bought along a field guide. The point about this not being ideal for kindle is well made by a previous reviewer. While the written information is still there much of the picture and map detail is lost when viewing on the current kindle eBook. And this is not a cheap purchase. The kindle fire will serve it better I guess when it comes out in the UK. I bought this knowing that I would be transferring it to iPad and eventually to my laptop via the kindle app so at least I have the pictures in colour. You can also zoom in a little but the effect is blurry. As one would not tend to read this in a linear fashion as you would a novel, navigation is also an issue. Again much easier on the iPad than on the kindle. It is a compromise, no question so you should keep that in mind considering the expense, but it did come in very handy and I may consider buying the hard back version at some point. One point regarding the content which concerns me a little but which may be down to my own lack of experience is the accuracy of some of the distribution maps. For example, certain birds of prey not seemingly occurring in Crete when other local books say that they do, trying to find which green coloured warblers I have seen commonly but none of which seem to be occurring according to the maps, waxwings seemingly not occurring in the UK when plainly they do. Although recently reprinted the book is a few years old now. I wonder if some things have changed in the interim, whether I am missing something or whether some of the information is incorrect. But as I say on the whole the book is tremendously detailed and informative.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent highly recmended, 5 Aug 2009
By 
G. Michelmore (Chichester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Handbook of Bird Identification: For Europe and the Western Palearctic (Helm Identification Guides) (Hardcover)
This is a first class work of awesome detail right down to indentification of races like Caspian Gull versus Yellow Legged Gull, Iberian Chifchaff etc. Not necessarily a field guide or a quick reference guide but the most complete and up to date reference work I've seen anyway.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only serious guide avaible, but limited., 28 May 2013
By 
L A. Wilkinson (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I already have this book and purchased it for my Kindle as I wanted a bird guide for my trip to Finland without the weight of a book. Normally I take Collins Bird Guide away with me but this was the only serious guide available for the Western Palearctic on Kindle. I knew the text would suit my needs and it gave me all the general information I needed. However I soon realized that the small plates were a serious disadvantage with up to 8 species crowded onto one page. And just as in the paper version, the plates are grouped away from the text. Fortunately there is a link to the correct plate from the text for each bird. This book does not go into the same topographical detail as Collins so I found it difficult to separate unfamiliar birds from such small drawings, Buntings for example. Another niggle was the lack of an index - you had to plough through each family of birds to get to the species you wanted, and annoyingly vagrants always seemed to come first!
Personally I feel I made a big mistake leaving my Collins at home and why it is not yet on Kindle is a mystery because it it is every birdwatchers bible. However this Handbook certainly gives you lots of interesting information that is not in Collins and it is in many ways a good complement. But as a pure guide it is limited.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Useful and always available with Android phone but fiddly to use, 7 April 2013
By 
M. J. Oakland "Geord" (Cheshunt, Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This book was purchased in the Kindle format for use with my Samsung Galaxy SIII. Disappointingly, there seem to be few UK bird and wildlife publications for ebooks and The Handbook of Bird Identification: For Europe and the Western Palearctic was one of the few available in this format. This is my first ebook so it has been very much a trial and error experience. As a reference book with the need to flick the pages back and forth from illustrations to text, it can be a little fiddly in this form. Although, by clicking on the species name highlighted in brown text in the main pages, it instantly switches to the colour plates. Annoyingly, clicking on the genus headings does not take you to the relevant plates and it is therefore necessary so search through the pages for individual birds as there is no index available of the bird names. On the plus side, the Kindle edition is less than half the price of the equivalent hardback copy and can also be viewed on a standard computer as well as a smartphone. And of course the book can be taken with me wherever I go; whether birding locally, nationally or even abroad, (and this was the primary reason for the purchase) so it was always going to be a compromise between portability and ease of use. The Collins Bird Guide by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström and Peter J. Grant is out shortly in the Kindle format so it may be worth waiting to see how this compares.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab, 12 Jan 2013
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Good ref on the move, great artworks and a superb level of detail given on each family. Another fab title.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book., 25 Sep 2012
By 
Geordie "Les L" (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Handbook of Bird Identification: For Europe and the Western Palearctic (Helm Identification Guides) (Hardcover)
Bought for my wife who is a closet 'twicher'. She loves it and, as I've read, if you can't identify the bird from this book, it probably doesn't exist.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for everybody who's interested in birds !, 6 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Handbook of Bird Identification: For Europe and the Western Palearctic (Helm Identification Guides) (Hardcover)
This book, combined with a good field guide such as the Svensson & Mullarney, is really all you need .... It's my favourite bird book, and I can only HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one !!
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best plates, best texts, best overall presentation!, 16 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Handbook of Bird Identification: For Europe and the Western Palearctic (Helm Identification Guides) (Hardcover)
It was my best friend's copy... For some obscure reason, I didn't know the book yet. He laughed at me. I simply choked! Best plates, best texts, best overall presentation! ... I had no idea a book like this could be bought by such a outrageous low price!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beaman: Handbook of Birds, 9 July 2013
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This review is from: The Handbook of Bird Identification: For Europe and the Western Palearctic (Helm Identification Guides) (Hardcover)
OUTSTANDING! Obviously not a field guide unless you have a servant or a trolley to carry it, but the plates are state of the art and the text is highly informative to all levels. This surely is the standard by which all others will be judged. My original Oxford Birds of The Western Palearctic volumes which I sold and bought the Concise, was the reference I turned to most often after a field trip, but this is such a joy now, the Concise has been unopened for some time. Highly recommended but shop around as some dealers charge a lot more than others.
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