Reed and Bush Warblers (Helm Identification Guides) Hardcover – 10 Jun 2009
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'destined to become the ultimate reference for these challenging birds'
--Birdbooker report website, 12th November 210
'Full of amazingly comprehensive data, yet extending an invitation to a world in which so much waits to be discovered, Reed and Bush Warblers is a Premiership-level 'keeper' for sure. A magnum opus, worth of addition to any birder's library.'
--Birdwatch, April 2011
About the Author
Peter Kennerley has ringed and watched warblers in Hong Kong for many years, and David Pearson is an authority on the African species. Both authors have published extensively on the subject. Brian Small is a highly regarded bird illustrator with several books to his credit. His warblers are particularly outstanding.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The 42 colour plates by Brian Small are grouped together at the front of the book. These really are excellent, with usually just one or two species per page and a selection of distinctive races being shown with brief descriptions on the facing pages. The main species texts are really comprehensive, giving detailed accounts of structure and plumage and comparisons with similar species. Vocalisations are described and sonograms are shown, although - rather like the text - they are a bit on the small side! In contrast the colour distribution maps are superb - being large and clearly annotated to show the ranges of each race for both breeding and winter distribution. These ranges are also described, as are the choice of habitats. Movements, breeding habits, behaviour and moult are all treated in separate sections, as are in-hand measurements, which are also accompanied by diagrams of the wing formulae. A section on taxonomy and systematics allows for an explanation of recent changes. In my view it would have been helpful to include here the various names that readers may encounter when reading about the species elsewhere. Good colour photographs are included for all but the most obscure species, and helpfully these are positioned at the end of each species text. No detail has been spared in presenting information.Read more ›
I have now consulted the guide on several occasions - for species seen in western Europe and southern Africa - and in every instance found that the text answered my questions and expanded my knowledge; no more can be asked of a work of reference. I found the maps very clear and the photos informative, though in the case of the latter I would have liked a few more.
My only real criticism concerns the plates (42 in number), though in this I appear to be in a minority (as all the reviews of the book I've read so far praise them highly - so my view will seem heresy to some...). To my eye, and based on those species with which I am most familiar, the plates seem a bit wooden and certain species don't look quite right; in my opinion they aren't in the same class as the identification plates produced by bird illustrators such as Lars Jonsson or Killian Mullarney. Having said that, they would have been more than adequate as plumage maps except for the unfortunate fact that the colour printing isn't of the highest quality, so that many of the plates appear far too dark - a black mark to the publisher for allowing such a key work of reference to suffer in this way.
Despite my feelings about the plates, the comprehensive text makes this book well worth the money and simply indispensable for anyone with an interest in this group of birds.