2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2012
Seychelles lies in the western Indian Ocean. The land area is small at just 458 sq km, but in total there are 155 islands spread across an area of ocean covering 1,374,000 sq km.
This book is a condensed version of that of the same name published by Helm in 2000. That field guide (which was co-authored with Ian Bullock) was the only modern book to cover every species recorded in the Seychelles. It is still available and provides a huge resource of information.
Once again all species are included in the new volume, but the main difference is that the text has been considerably reduced and rewritten. This highlights key identification features, including habitat, distribution, status and voice. The original plates have been repeated but many have been resized and a number of new images have been added, with 12 extra plates. In total there are around 1000 illustrations.
Every species is given an English name following the traditional Voous order (used by the African Bird Club for many years until its recent decision to follow the IOC List). Creole and French are both official languages of Seychelles, along with English, and all names in each language are listed in an appendix.In addition, there are brief notes on each of the main islands and Important Bird Areas. There are no range maps but the author uses a table of 16 distribution bars in four different colours to indicate status of each species on each of the islands. This is a good idea and works really well.
This is a handy book that will take up very little room in one's bag. It really is designed for field use but I expect many people will still want the original book to read in their hotel room.
on 27 April 2014
This is a very good guide to this group of islands. The introduction begins with an overview of the islands and their composition including maps of the entire chain and each of the island groups. Next follows a section on the major birding sites, then the climate, plants mentioned in the text, glossary of terms, origins of birding in the Seychelles and a checklist.
The next section comprises 53 excellent plates by Tony Disley. The artwork often includes habitat and many species are depicted in flight especially helpful for seabirds and raptors, fall and winter plumages which is helpful for the many migrants especially the shorebirds. The artwork is vivid and not too crammed and easy to separate with each illustration being numbered and lettered.
The next section comprises the species accounts and are quite extensive for a field guide. Description covers adult breeding and non-breeding plumage, female, juvenile and immature where relevant. Voice is covered as well as behavior, range, status, threats and conservation for those species that qualify and similar species usually giving several confusing reference species and comparing them where needed.
Overall this is a very good guide that is well illustrated and referenced. There are no range maps but each species range is covered in the status section of the species description though in the field that can be a bit time consuming this does little to detract from the overall value of this guide to anyone visiting the Seychelles.
on 9 August 2014
This is a great book for anyone interested in birding,although a little out of date,as 8 new species have been added to the seychelles list since it's publication and a typographical error on the sunbird page (instead of shortening Cinnyris souimanga as C.s.souimanga it shortens it a N.s.souimanga)it is still an excellent book also featuring birds that could be vagrants to seychelles,I will recomend it