on 27 January 2011
This book is one of the best guides on the market. It has a clear and precis text,excellent graphics and some beautiful photographs. It inspires you to observe in much greater detail these lovely insects many of which are in decline. I have found it to be an excellent reference book,it is light enough to carry with you as you explore the countryside and easy to use. To those people who like me wish to take photographs it gives a detailed image of habitat etc.which is invaluable
A companion work to David Newland's quirky site guide, "Discover Butterflies in Britain", this field guide packs an incredible amount of information into a relatively small package. It is also very well designed and presented, with the facts being given in a very digestible and attractive, even artistic, way.
With all UK species described in adult form, in enough detail to clinch identification, and most shown in egg, caterpillar and chrysalis forms too, with useful site info and tips for photographing and watching these insects, as well as more factual pieces, there is sadly little or no room for the more whimsical elements of Newlands earlier work. Even so, he and his co-authors manage, somehow, to shoehorn in some personal opinions and appreciations of individual species. So the Orange Tip is "delightfully delicate" and even the humble and decidedly unshowy Dingy Skipper is "beautifully camouflaged". These little asides do make a difference and allow the authors' enthusiasm to show.
Since this is primarily a field guide, the photos are designed to nail ID rather than showing off the butterfly. So for the Hairstreaks, in particular, only underwings are shown. Even so, most of the photographs are stunning, many of the best By David Newland himself (eg, the Peacock, the Swallowtail.)
The small section on p89 showing the differences in wing markings on the various Blue butterflies is extremely useful, it is a pity this type of mini-guide could not have been repeated for the Fritilliaries, and other difficult groups, but identification is a more complex subject than it might appear.
The book is sturdy and sized to make carrying in the field easy. A short but useful bibliography rounds off a very impressive work.
on 20 August 2011
There are many butterfly books on the market and this is a very good one. It is a joy to pick up and browse. It comes with a comprehensive text with superb photography of eggs, larvae, and imago. It has been a joy to read. The book has a good quality feel and as it a field guide comes with a heavy duty plastic cover. Well worth purchasing.
on 8 June 2012
All one could wish to know about British Butterflies is contained in this most informative guide. There are several photographs of each butterfly and helpful tips on behaviour;breeding habits;population and conservation; and egg, caterpillar and chrysalis stages which greatly aid identification. Simply the very best guide available. Grateful thanks to the authors David Newland and Robert Still for producing such a wonderful book. The forward to it is by Dr Martin Warren, Chief Executive of Butterfly Conservation.
on 21 August 2013
There are so many butterfly books on the market but this has to be THE best book on British butterflies you can get in my opinion. You not only get to ID your butterfly with excellent clear images, but you get to learn about it with easy to understand well composed pages and chapters. There are some computer generated images to show the species in a better background but even these have been seamlessly done. From beginner to advanced if you love butterflies what are you waiting for, you need this book and Im sure anyone will really appreciate and enjoy the amount of information on each species.
I have used or looked at this book everyday since receiving this it; I love it as I really appreciate the work that goes into capturing these little guys on camera being a wildlife photographer myself, they are generally quite camera shy.
There are 558 stunning colour photos within this comprehensive guide but for me it was not only the gorgeous images of the butterflies but the detailed info on the eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis's that makes this guide stand way above the rest.
This gorgeous guide will be a perfect gift for the budding wildlife photographer or butterfly lover because of the depth of information. With extra information on where to go to watch or photograph certain species throughout the UK this book is light enough to take anywhere. It has excellent quality glossy pages and I was really surprised to find it has a heavy duty plastic sleeve; perfect for being out and about. Wow what a fantastic book, this is what I've been after for years!!!
All you could want in one beautifully photographed affordable guide book.
See my full review with more photos.
on 22 August 2013
I already had a butterfly book, but many of the butterflies were in Europe rather than Britain. Also the illustrations were not always that helpful. In contrast this book is great for someone like myself, starting out with very little knowledge. I suspect those with more knowledge would also find it useful.
Each butterfly has a double page spread, with the text on the left and the images (of which there are sometimes as many as 8) on the right. This makes it very easy to flick through the pages until you get to those similarly coloured for a start - and then you can narrow it down by going through the similar ones more slowly. The images are photos and very clear.
Identifying is aided on each butterfly by a listing of similar looking butterflies and a map showing locations, and there is also a chart showing when they are likely to be flying. All of which I have found invaluable.
Aside from adult identification there is information on each butterfly regarding behaviour, breeding, habitat, population and conservation and eggs, caterpillar and chrysalis.
There is a section at the end of the book on identifying eggs, caterpillars and plant foods which I have not used yet, but I can see might be useful in the future.
All in all I'm very happy with this purchase and will now be looking to buy other books in this series.
on 21 August 2014
A very good book for carrying in the field in a large pocket - a wax-jacket type pocket and not an ordinary jacket. The illustrations of the butterflies are superb as they are all good photographs. At first I was a little disappointed in not seeing the caterpillars on the same page as the butterfly, but soon discovered that in the caterpillar section having similar looking caterpillars on the same page was then easier to identify to which butterfly it belonged. I particularly liked the column on each page with the butterfly giving particulars such as, map, where to look, wing span, whether common or endangered specie and other useful information.