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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.....
12 people found this helpful
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on 21 May 2018
I have already got this guide in paperback, so why did I buy the Kindle e-book version? I am already fully aware of how good the book is and have looked at it numerous times since purchasing it in 2015. However, I am always birdwatching not just when I go out with binoculars: looking out onto the garden, strolling through the park, on holiday; a birdwatcher never switches off because birds can be found anywhere at any time. One of the most famous ‘twitches’ of all time, the Golden-winged Warbler at Larkfield, Kent in 1989 was found when a local birdwatcher was going to post a letter. I don't carry my binoculars at all times and I certainly don't carry a bird identification book wherever I go. Although now of course I do! Like most people my smartphone is a constant companion whenever I leave the house and now on that smartphone is the Kindle version of “The Helm Guide to Bird Identification”. So, as well as being handy when I am actually birdwatching, now if an odd bird appears as I am walking to the shops or flies over my local park I now have the tool that may enable me to have a stab at identifying it, instead of hoping I can remember all the ID features when I get home.
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on 27 October 2017
If you could only have 2* reference books, this would be one of them. It really helps with identifying those tricky birds with different plumages, juvenile, subadult, winter or summer etc. that look like a completely different bird. There's also similar birds compared to help you to tell them apart.

The book is packed full of illustrations and brilliant descriptions of plumage, flight, calls etc.

The only 'fault', if you need to read with glasses, don't forget to take them out with this book. The book is so full, the text is rather small to fit it all in.

*the other either Collins bird guide or the excellent wild guides-Britains Birds
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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.
5 people found this helpful
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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.
One person found this helpful
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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.
4 people found this helpful
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on 13 January 2017
Nice sized book to add to your field guide for those who enjoy watching birds & want to go to the next level with bird ID. Useful diagrams & not too dense explanations of plumages. Haven't read the whole thing but think I'll manage this. I'm not quite ready for the heavyweight Helm books yet, though they are beautiful. This one you can fit in your bag to read on the bus.
I'm very happy with this purchase.
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on 5 May 2014
This book deserves the 5 star rating that i gave it ,as identification plates show differing plumage as the birds age,although not a "photographic" likeness the illustrations are certainly good enough to identify the subject matter.The text is well written and illustrates where and when to find and observe including flight patterns and song.I like the simple way the birds are "catalogued " and would fully recommend this book to the novice and advanced Ornithologist.
One person found this helpful
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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 8 September 2014
I have bought both print and Kindle editions and I had the previous edition. A really useful book for birders at all levels.

It may not be obvious to everyone that the Kindle edition can be read on PC , Tablet and phone, and that, on these devices the colour is preserved.
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