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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
56
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
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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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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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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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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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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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on 17 January 2016
In the same way as many people agree that ketchup is an essential addition to chips, I'd say that this book is an essential supplement to your standard guidebook of British birds. The hugely comprehensive text, combined with the lavish artwork and scrupulous species comparisons, make it a true saviour for anyone who finds the task of putting a name to that briefly seen bird daunting - and indeed for intermediates as well, (seriously, I've been bird watching for the best part of eight years, and even I found, when I read this book, that there were gaps in my understanding waiting to be filled). Add this to your standard guide to British birds, and the dish will be complete! You'll be able to go out there into the field with so much renewed confidence in your birding skills, you'll be amazed.
Reviewed by Arron S. Munro
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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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on 18 March 2016
While most birds can be identified with a good field guide like the Collins, some require extra care, and this book should be your next port of call. It covers species and plumages that are likely to cause confusion, with clear illustrations accompanied by detailed text. This is NOT a beginner's guide, nor does it cover all British species. It picks up where standard guides finish. Very few birds should elude identification once you get this.
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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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on 26 September 2014
This is great on a tablet. Wonderful to be able to carry such books around in such a small space. I don't think it would be up to much on a normal Kindle as colour is so important, but on a tablet, phone or PC it is excellent. Highly recommended.
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