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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 29 October 2005
An excellent guide to all European birds from Iceland to Israel plus all the vagrants that have visited. The best part of this book is that it has all photos. Some guide books have drawings or coloured illustrations which sometimes are far removed from the bird you want to identify. Having said that this is a hefty book and therefore is not much use in the field, the paperback is smaller and lighter but I prefer this even so. It has a lot of bird info at the front and is the best complete guide I have come across.
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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.

Whether you are an armchair addict, or a twitcher of the first order, this guide and 70-minute CD are essential reference. The book and video introduce you to 800 species that are regularly and not so regularly found in Britain and Europe. The book contains beautiful photographs, including ones of the different plumages, both male, female and juvenile. There is information on habitat and virtually everything you need to know to obtain a true picture of each individual species.
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on 18 December 2005
This is a fantastic field guide for birdwatchers to have on their bookshelf. The photos are superb, and I personally find them much easier to use for bird identification, than the classic birdwatching field guides that have artists representations. It is a shame that this book is too big and heavy to use outdoors as a field guide (not that I would want to as it might get ruined). However the RSPB have thought of that and have a slimmed down pocket guide available as well.
First class RSPB and DK. Watch out Collins guides, there is a new kid on the block.
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on 21 March 2010
This book is superb with some of the best Photos and pictures of any birdbook and we have several. The format is one specie per page. It highlights features to look for to aid identification, differences between males, females and juveniles where necessary. There are flight "patterns", distribution maps and status. Also, most usefully it has pictures of similar looking species on the page. Saw it first at an RSPB site and decided to buy it. It is a coffee table bird book so you will also need a pocket book to take with you for example - RSPB Pocket Birds.
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on 9 June 2010
This book was bought as a birthday present for a friend who very much enjoys sitting in his garden/conservatory and watching the birds who visit it. He is a bird lover and this has presented a whole new world to him and also to his family and friends. He is in his seventies and found that this book has considerably increased his enjoyment. He can also look up birds he has seen on walks etc.

An excellent book all round.

An excellent book for bird lovers of all ages. This was bought as a present for an old friend who much enjoys watching the birds in his garden and found this helps in his identification of species and also appreciation of the different varieties. The gentleman in question is a pensioner but has found the book also much enjoyed by his family.
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on 6 August 2014
The delivery was excellent. This book has been well set out and walks you through each process. Great author will be looking at their other books. I recommend this book it is very well illustrated with clear explanations, ideal for the hobbyist or intermediate twitcher.
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on 7 January 2012
The book itself is great but could do with a little more information.. my old field guide from the 80's has more info on each bird than this! But it doesn't have as many images so at least it's a great photo guide! There's also tonnes of other excellent information at the start of the book such as the different habitats found in Europe and some basics on bird anatomy, breeding etc.
The main problem is that the names on each track of the CD are all wrong.. the first track I put on was the Wigeon's call and as soon as it started playing, I immediately turned to my partner and said "If the title didn't say Wigeon, I would swear those were Swifts.."
Turns out they WERE Swifts.. the worst part is I also have a later version of this book and CD, they still haven't updated the names! Argh! At least you can correspond everything with the book track list so it's not too big a deal. Four stars for the mess-up and lack of information.
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on 28 December 2012
First of all this is an excellent book, but not what I expected. I was expecting from the words printed on the book's cover and the description of the book in the Amazon review that the book is a photographic guide, but it is very far from this and is not a photographic guide at all. The cover says "The Ultimate Photographic Guide...", so what would you expect if you are a buyer? Probably lots of photographs.
This book is little more than a re-packaging of the also excellent RSPB - Birds of Britain & Europe as far as the bird pictures and are concerned. It is 100% the same. The bulk of the pictures (whilst good) are illustrations, with small supporting photos, i.e. small in both size and quantity! The bird guide description for each species is also 100% the same.
This book is therefore not the "ultimate photographic guide" so is misleading in its description.
If you want a proper photographic guide try the Collins Complete Guide to British Birds which is 100% photographic.
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on 23 June 2016
The book itself is excellent. I'd, already, seen it at a friend's house so specifically wanted that bird book. Each large page is clear, very informative and just dedicated to one bird . I was a bit disappointed in the condition of the second hand copy I bought. It was stated, prior to purchase, to be in good condition.
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on 10 July 2013
Purchased this book to get more detailed information. In reality it contains very little addition useful information over the much cheaper (white) version by same author and in the same RSPB series. However it is a good book with great information. but you can save yourself some money by purchasing the smaller version.
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