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on 21 November 2016
Fabulous photographic images of our native birds in their natural habitat. My problem was that I bought the book on first taking up birdwatching and I would not really recommend it for a rank beginner like me. That is my own fault not a fault in the book which is exquisitely presented and printed and the photographs stunning.
Having said that, a rank beginner really needs an illustrated guide which points out features to look for when establishing the identity of a type of bird actual birds, doing actual birdy things are the goal of birdwatching but telling your Dunnock from your Tree Sparrow is tricky and you really need stuff like leg colour, wing bar details, eye markings etc, pointed out in block capitals when starting out.
25 people found this helpful
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on 13 November 2016
Ideal for schools, colleges, and yes even universities as this is a great book to have at home and with you when your out touring. It tells you everything and I would recommend it to Bird watchers, snappers, and volunteer groups of the RSPB, Wildlife Trust etc.
5 people found this helpful
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on 2 May 2017
Superb book for reference, I try hard to ignore the fact that it is associated with the BBC
4 people found this helpful
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on 10 May 2015
Although the content of this book is grouped by bird type, e.g. 'swans, geese and ducks', and 'thrushes', the index only lists the birds in alphabetical order, mostly using their latin names. I will have to write my own index if I am going to have any chance of identifying a bird that I don't specifically recognize. The illustrations are not consistent. Sometimes male, female and juvenile are all illustrated, sometimes just the 2 sexes, sometimes only one. I find the narrative adequate for a 'portable guide'.
2 people found this helpful
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on 3 September 2012
For me, as someone very new to ornithology as a hobby, I found this book exceptionally useful. Firstly, I find it much easier to look at the photographs of the birds to identify the birds that I am seeing, rather than drawings of birds. This is particularly the case where species are similar, and in some cases I find I can't sufficiently distinguish between the birds. This book is excellent, as it shows you photos of each species, and also the variations between males, females and young birds.

Furthermore, the book is extremely useful in that where birds are often misidentified, it includes a "often confused with" prompt in the text, so you can double-check to make sure you have identified the right bird. My husband and I find this book invaluable, and a wonderful guide to all of the wild birds around us!

I would highly recommend this book to any novice bird watching hobbyist!
One person found this helpful
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on 26 March 2013
I bought this book in conjunction with the Collins Bird Guide by Lars Svensson to replace a handbook and guide lost in transit whilst moving house. To be honest my original guides were getting on in years and I needed to update anyway but I am blown away by both of these books! The Paul Sterry Complete Guide To British Birds is exactly what I wanted for the field and the Collins Bird Guide is great for a more in depth study or identification. I am a reasonably competent birder who is working toward ticking off a list of species from a pocket book I bought in 1989 and these books will assist me greatly now that I have reached a point of having to actively seek out the less common species. The Photographic Guide provides excellent plates of adult/juvenile birds both perched and in flight but the best bit for me is that each species has a section entitled observation tips telling you where in the country and when in the year to visit to have your best shot at finding it. The Lars Svensson book is a lot more detailed and covers species from accross Europe so provides another great source of information. Buy them both, download a birdsong App for the smartphone and I don't think you'll need anything else whilst birding in the UK.

2 people found this helpful
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on 1 July 2013
I got this as I often see birds in the wild for too short a time of too far to photograph and struggle to identify them - as anyone who has tried to get into bird-watching will know, there are several species that are similar to others and picking the differences out either takes many years of experience or... a guide book!
I would say that there were a few things in the book that are incorrect - mostly relating to my neck of the woods (NE Scotland) having species that the book says we don't - perhaps Collins should team with the RSPB for more accurate information regarding geographical dispersion within the UK but apart from that, I am very happy with this book!
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on 15 March 2016
Each time we are in the garden or taking our dog for a walk we take notice of the birds around us, I've lost count how many times we've gone home to look them up in this book, we've discovered birds we'd never even heard of.
Its so nice to be able to spot them again and know their name and interesting facts about them.
We've learnt lots from owning it and are so pleased to have purchased it.
If you only want one bird book then this is the book for you.
We would definitely recommend to others.
One person found this helpful
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on 14 July 2015
I recently moved to the country and although I had always loved birds could never name them or know much about them this is a marvelous book for a person starting out on ornithology it is very descriptive and has photographs all the way through, I would be interested to look at more Collins books this was a good buy.
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on 1 September 2015
An amazing book, i bought it for my dad. It now lives on the kitchen windowsill for anyone to pick up at the sight of a unknown bird, with pictures of females, males and the young, also it gives a small map of habbitat with its diet and other cool little facts about the bird... recommend !
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