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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 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 1 August 2017
Beautiful book however the cd does not match the the cd track listing in the book. I bought the book in 2013 and have only just found this out. I'm quite gutted about it!
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on 19 May 2017
Excellent! I have a copy of this for France and was pleased to get a more up to date copy for my house here.
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on 12 August 2017
very extensive details about birds
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on 13 June 2017
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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 5 July 2007
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 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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on 29 March 2008
I've had this book for about 2 years now and its really good for identifying birds. Layout is logical and therefore easy to find groups of similar birds. The illustrations are a mixture of photographs that have been heavily Photoshopped to look like artists drawings as well as (full colour) artists drawings. These plates cover male/female, summer/winter and juvenile variations in plumage. The information given on each bird just covers the basics: flight, call, nesting, feeding etc. as well as basic stats such as wing span etc. There's a very useful map which shows the range of the birds however, since it covers the whole of Europe the UK is shown a little small. A really useful feature is pictures of similar birds that the bird of interest could be mistaken for.
Bottom line is this is a really good book for identifying UK (and I assume European as well) birds. Its so good I just bought a second copy for my mum.
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