I bought this CD after wanting to better appreciate and recognise bird song. The CD is based upon a Radio 4 series and is set out in episodes. Each episode covers different bird groups - thrushes, titmice, finches, etc. Each area is discussed and bird song is played with the two commentators discussing the key indentifiable points, variations and how to use mnemonics to help recognise the songs. They also discuss how to identify the birds visually and often throw in some light-hearted facts relating to each species.
Generally this is a very good CD for the novice bird watcher to listen to. The only improvement that I can think of is having a further CD that relates to the less common birds not covered in this CD. That however is up to someone at BBC Radio 4!!
Some reviewers have complained about the couple of fellas wittering on and said they would have preferred to just hear the birdsong without the commentary, but I think the commentary adds a lot. Without it, listening to this would be quite hard work, whereas I find this a real pleasure and can listen to it over and over again (you have to if you want to memorise the songs).
If you're a hardcore birdwatcher who wants a detailed reference, this will disappoint, but if like me you just want to know what is making the racket in your garden, this is lovely.
I originally heard this as a BBC series on Radio 4 and have subsequently bought it as a download for my IPOD but I'm sure the CD is just as good. It is gentle chat between the two presenters as they listen to bird song in a garden. Really, really helpful for the novice bird watcher, with great tips about how to identify and remember bird song (for instance, "teacher, teacher" as the call of the great tit - that one will stick with me forever). I would definitely recommend this very highly for anyone starting out, together with Simon Barnes CD of his book, "A Bad Birdwatcher's Companion"
Very good for a learner like me. I can identify the more common birds, but only a few by their song, this will improve that.
The entire CD is narrated. Filled with interesting facts and usefull info about each of the birds, with handy little tips to recognise the bird calls.. (eg teacher teacher teacher - great tit).
It covers 22 common garden birds. Over 5 BBC Radio 4 programmes. The programmes are seemlessly connected
It is definatly good enough for repeated listens. For me it will be essential for memorising the details and of course to familiarise myslef with the bird calls. Some people may find they're style a bit waffley.
If you're expecting straight, succinct run through of the birds of britain.. eg - Saying the name then playing the bird call immediatly - this is not the CD for you. This CD is much more conversational and filled out with info.
The big negative- -
It would have been good to have a track listing on the CD sleeve. It does give an overview of the 5 programmes, but the CD is divided in to 22 tracks, an index of these tracks would clearly be very useful for reference purposes. When I converted the CD to MP3 a track listing was found though... but strangely the track names are wrong. So when I click greenfinch, I get the coal tit bit.
So - A very good commentary, but the big track listing mistake makes it more difficult than necessary to use as a reference tool, which is what I bought it for.
This is a great CD. We listen to it in the car and you can hear it clearly, the songs are clear of the one bird being described, the descrptions are not over the top of the song but preceed them and give interesting additional information. This has replaced more expensice CDs we bought and is much superior. Although I am not musical I have learnt new bird songs, and it has given much extra pleasure as my wife & I now listen when we are out and try and identify and then spot the birds.
As a basic guide to the most common birds found in British gardens this audio guide is both instructive and very interesting. As well as recognising each bird by their individual song and calls the presenters provide a brief insight into the appearance and main characteristics of the birds in question. A wonderful and essential tool for a beginner in this field.
On every CD that Westwood & Moss have collaborated on they are good at describing (uniquely) how to recognize birds. It is ideal for novices, and those with the more jaded memory alike who can learn and recall birds. But there is more to this series of cd's, the banter humour and eccentricity of the commentary forms a key part of its presentation. Thus as such, there is a separate form of 'nerdy' entertainment as much as there is a succinct source of information about the birds themselves. Perhaps this would not appeal to persons unable to enjoy other thoughts and reflections by these enthusiasts beyond what is essential.
Having never been a serious birdwatcher ( love them all the same ) i want to hear irrelevant off the beaten track by experts because it shows how fascinating birds are. But also how to enjoying them by an innocent enthusiasm.
Would recommend to anyone who appreciates broadcasters speaking from the heart on the subject, to those looking to refresh their more novice bird knowledge, and as a magnanimous humourous set of rambles on birds
This is a really good guide for the bird watching beginner but is also a good CD just to listen to. I like the conversation between the presenters with snippets of information about each bird. Great for just putting on the CD player and having the birds in your room!
I have been gardening for wildlife for many years and recognize and understand most of the creatures in my garden - but I am always frustrated by my inability to differentiate bird song. This is a good basic guide to the birdsong most likely to be heard in a reasonably diverse British country garden - nothing very rare or unusual but a good starter, and pleasantly soothing to listen to while getting on with other things