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42
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Helm Guide to Bird Identification
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2014
I bought the hardback version of the earlier version on this book neatly 25 years ago when books on the subject of "difficult" species groups were seldom published and, back then, I thought it was superb and hugely informative for its size
This new version, which was one of the first books I downloaded onto my newly acquired Kindle, is even better and reflects the modern treatment of some species such as large Gulls and vagrant Warblers. The text is more extensive( with a valuable "Where and When" intro) and written with clarity, yet conciseness , without rambling into specialist ornithological terms so both the beginner and advanced birders can understand. There are some new illustrations of the "new" species with some revisions of the older ones and yet again wonderfully reproduced with relevant accompanying text.
This book will appeal to birders on every level; from those who can't tell a Carrion Crow from a Raven to those struggling with juvenile Herring & Caspian Gulls. Well worth the £11.32 I paid--just to look at it!!! Now if Bloomsbury or Helm can provide a Kindle version of its counterpart-The Birders Guide to European and Middle Eastern Birds- published in 1996, my life will be complete.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2014
This is a book to use alongside a good field guide such as Collins. I have learnt a lot about separating similar species and even ageing them. My only concern is that the layout of some of the illustrations is confusing and some species that I wanted to see side by side are not available but I suppose it would be impossible to have everything as an already substantial book would be huge. Overall thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2014
I first encountered this book in the library on Skokholm island, and found it most useful in seperating some of the wader and gull species, which I was unfamiliar with. It covers all of the bird groups likely to be encountered in the uk, and goes into considerable detail, with excellent illustrations, to assist you in identifying species which may be confused with another similar bird. It also covers variations in a birds appearance due to age and sex, and season.
A most useful addition to anyones bird book collection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2014
This is what birding is all about...We can all tell a robin from a wren and come to that either of these species from anything else whatsoever. But how about all those tricky waders, raptors and LBJs? This is where we all need a little help at times and the Helm Guide gives the latest ID tips to help sort out the problems. Maybe one day this concept will be expanded beyond European species to books covering say warblers, shorebirds an birds of prey for the entire world. I'd certainly buy these books! Meanwhile, I'll settle for this one. Great to have it in Kindle as well for use in the field or "packing for birding" trips.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2014
Excellent book that is a great help and compliments in many newer ways to many other well known books. Identifying similar wild fowl and waders such as Redshanks, Greenshanks, Black-T Godwits, Bar-T Godwits at different times of the year in Summer and Winter. The birds colouring and plumage can often look look different and the Juveniles can be confusing to some observers as well. A very good book that all beginners to intermediate knowledge based bird watchers should own.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2014
Apologies for an ambiguous title, but it is the only way I can express my feeling for this book.

The content is superb, unquestionably five stars. Drawings are excellent and information is unrivalled (bar Couzens' 'Brids ID and Insights' another great book that is smaller, but better organised). If you want a book to clarify whether this is a Black Tern, a white-winged Black or a Whiskered Tern, this is the one

So why two stars? Simply because the binding for this book is simply not fit for purpose. A chunky book with high quality paper that needs to live in the pocket or the car glove box deserves a quality binding, not thin and very flimsy cardboard, especially when the price is the wrong side of £20. If this was the quality of the ubiquitous Collins Bird Guide, I would not be complaining, but this really is poorly bound. What a shame Bloomsbury!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2014
Better than expected,very Imformative and easy to read did not believe there was a book on the market that explained so clearly
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on 14 November 2014
Often when you are in the field you are presented with an odd plumage or one shared by several species. The often confusing species present some ID challenges but this guide will help to resolve many of the difficult to ID species. This guide is centered on the British Isles but does flow over into many European species. The illustrations are very good and detailed and the text does well to cover what to look for when comparing species that have similar plumage. Many shorebirds and gulls are included with several of the LBJ warblers and larks. Not just a helpful ID guide but a learning tool. Once you’ve used this a few times in the field it will aid in being more discerning with those tricky species. Definitely one to keep on the book shelf and now with digital photography you can get some snaps and use this in the comfort of your own home instead of on some chilly, windswept beach, unless that is your soft of thing!
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on 8 May 2014
I've been birdwatching now for a couple of years and I knew it was time to get a 'confusion specieas guide' of some kind. I read a review of this book about a month previous to its publication and thought I'd wait and buy this one. I wasn't disappointed. The text is rich and helpful, but also easily accessible. The illustrations are very insightful and there is no space wasted on illustrations which would be unnecessary. I've found that the text is incredibly up to date, the chapter on daurian shrikes is a case in point, so hopefully this will last me a few more years yet. for most confusion species you can find papers on the web, and they go much more in depth than this book, but this book seems much more to the point and is also very easily accessible.

A wonderful book, with beautiful plates and insightful text.
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on 7 May 2014
This book is an invaluable work for anyone interested in improving their bird identification skills. It is NOT a recognition guide like the definitive Collins volume or most of the very high quality Helm filed guides. Rather, it links up the so-called 'confusion species'. By doing this it helps the observer to spot the differences and improve identification.

This new book is equally valuable to the expert and the novice but will be appreciated most by the advanced beginner seeking to improve identification skills both in the filed and at home. It is a good read in the winter months where it can be used to target specific groups. I have been using it to help classify some of my many unidentified record photos. Thus I regard this as a very valuable contribution to improving my skills.
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