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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 22 January 2003
Being new to this field, I have found this book of great value. I have encountered several other guides, and have to say without a shadow of doubt, this is the best. Each bird is alotted its own page, containing both photographs and drawings of top quality. There is a wealth of info on all aspects of the bird, including song, its individual style of flight, lifespan, breeding and much more.
Of particular use is a section at the bottom of each page offering photographs of similar species, to further ensure you can make a correct I.D.
Overall, a top buy, of top quality.
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on 6 July 2002
I have found this book invaluable in helping me identify birds. As a new and young person to the world of birdwatching I find the photographic format far easier to relate to then drawings. As each species gets a whole page and has pictures of similar birds at the bottom I have found this a good checker. Also the rare birds are at the back so you don't get confused and think you have spotted something new when it is a common bird.
A friend reccomended this book to me and I recommend it to any one keen to know what they are looking at. It is probably a bit basic for the proffessional twitcher or birder but loads of colourful photos for the casual watcher. It also covers all of Britain and Europe so I can use it abroad as well... a bargain!
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on 11 April 2006
This really is an excellent book, packed with information but presented with the clarity and flair typical of many Dorling Kindersley titles.
The annotated photographic images of species are consistently superb, showing male/female summer/winter etc, in as much detail as the format allows. The images have obviously been carefully chosen and processed to be attractive and informative. If you've been disappointed with photographic guides before, buy with confidence here.
I also found the brief text on each species to be useful, the descriptions of typical behaviour really helping to identify in some cases.
The "similar species" section is also a great idea for new or part-time bird watchers
Add to this in-flight illustrations, distribution maps/calendars, habitat details, statistics, there is a lot of information here.
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book.
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on 16 May 2003
This is a fairly new book and differs from other guides such as Collins in that it uses photagraphic style images rather than sketches.
This works well and there are some sketches presumably where no photo was available.
The guide has extra useful information like flight characteristics.
It avoids the usual irratation in guides of refering one to other pages for maps, pictures etc. Very good. Best I've seen.
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on 19 December 2002
At a time where everyone appears to be promoting the Collins Field Guide (which is indeed wonderful!) some healthy competition has arisen in the form of Rob Hume's amazing new work.
I was given my first birding book at the tender age of 10, and the author's name has always stuck with me as a mark of "What I fink birding is about".
Much has been made about the limitations of photography in a field guide but this book combines so well with the colour plates, and the information is handled concisely; at the same time I have yet to find myself asking "but what about..."
This is a gorgeous book, whether you are a serious birder or just as a nice gift for a curious ten (or ninety) year-old!
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We come to expect quality books when they carry the RSPB name and logo and they do not let us down, my only slight quibble is that this particular book says on the front "UK's Best Selling field Guide." To my way of thinking it is a little large for a pocket guide. Carrying a camera field glasses is enough without a weighty book that you will struggle to get into a pocket.

Having said that nothing can detract from the quality and content of the book, which is superb. The book features every bird found in Britain and Europe and for the most commonly seen 330 species there is a full page profile on each bird.

Modern printing techniques have improved this type of book tremendously over the years and the book is printed on a good quality paper. All in all difficult to beat for identification purposes. For those who love their large glossy photographs there are plenty of those on the shelves too.
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on 23 August 2016
Brilliant book. I use it nearly every day. I bought it for when we are in Spain to recognise some of the European birds that we have who visit our garden. I'm please to say we have found it very useful and have identified over 50 different species, including the Blue Rock Thrush who nests under our veranda and the Hoo Poo who likes to dig in the garden for caterpillars and the very colourful Bee Eater who has such a distinctive call we know when a group of them are flying over. The book puts them all into their families and the illustrations are beautiful with all the descriptions and identifying marks to help you. I can definitely recommend this book. Happy bird watching and identifying.
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on 16 August 2010
In my opinion, this is the best book for UK & European birds. The superb colour photos make identification easy in most cases and so much more reliable than books which use hand-drawn illustrations. For trickier species, the species descriptions are great too. For example, some wading birds are notoriously difficult to tell apart, especially when they move from summer to winter plumage and vice versa. Yesterday, I saw what I thought were a pair of spotted redshank, but I'd left my book in the car ( I need to get myself the pocket fieldbook edition). Without the book to refer to I observed the behaviour of the birds, which were feeding aggressively. I just knew that, if the birds were spotted redshank as I thought, there would be something about aggressive feeding in the species description and sure enough, there was.

A top, top book. It's a thrill to mark off the species you've seen and dream about seeing the ones you haven't.
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on 16 June 2013
I prefer illustrated to photos, as they show variations between male, female, juvenile and male breeding.
They also show similar birds and how to tell them apart.
It's not quite as good as my Sasol book of Southern African birds, but it is the best I could find.
This edition comes with a bonus CD with the birds calls.
Apart from using to help identify, it's also lovely to play it in the house.
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on 15 January 2010
Bought this as a present for my husband as we both had 1970-ish copies of The Hamlyn Guide to Birds of Britain & Europe from our youth and the distribution maps were really out of date (eg Little Egrets are by no means confined to Southern Europe, we often see them here in Suffolk).

This Dorling Kindersley book is really clear in its presentation and has so much included on the page devoted to each bird: as well as a short written description, photo(s) and drawings showing the adult, juvenile, summer vs winter plumage and sometimes the bird in flight there is a flight pattern diagram, distribution map, tabulated info on the months it has been seen in the UK, length, wingspan, weight, sociability, lifespan & status.
However given that we are interested in birds but not experts, what sets it apart from other bird books we have seen, is the small illustrated section on similiar birds that points out the key differences between them.

And yes, we have checked how up to date the Little Egret map is - it reckons they have got as far as the south coast of Britian but the 1st words in the description are "Steadily moving northwards in Western Europe......" so perhaps they will be shown in Suffolk in the next version!
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