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on 13 November 2016
The lovely wee hand book you can carry about with you when you want to learn about our native British Birds ideal for schools, colleges, and yes again universities as everyone should learn about the British Birds as the colour of some of these birds are so gorgeous and so natural they just are so amazing to watch.
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on 4 February 2006
This is the book that I reach for before I go to sleep to review some of the birds that I have seen throughout the day - an amazing wealth of information is crammed into a page, and each page is dedicated to a bird. The drawings and artwork are OK, not up to Collins standards, and it would not be my first choice for a field guide, but for some interesting factual information about species that I have encountered. This is the one, and worth having just for that. I love it, and think that the RSPB have a very good and effective range of books out at them moment.
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on 16 March 2017
Book is excellent but a bit of a problem as kindle- buy it by all means but I would recommend paperbac
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on 15 May 2017
Bought as a present for young nephew. I own a version which is excellent.
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on 6 June 2017
Exactly what I was looking for
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on 6 June 2017
lovely informative book
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on 4 February 2009
I ordered this as a modern version of the Hamlyn's and Collin's field study guides I have used for many years. My daughter wanted her own guide and we considered this alongside the RSPB Pocket Guide to British Birds. The introduction says this is NOT principally intended as a field guide, yet when looking to choose one, this was the nearest I could find to my 'old faithfuls'.
So far as I have been able to determine (and I'm just an enthusiast not an expert) this is an acceptable update. It covers all the identification factors I would look for - appearance in flight, at different times of year, at different stages of development, description of calls, distribution areas, etc.
There is a section on bird topography (how to describe the 'parts' of a bird's physique and plumage) and also a section that links local, common, scientific and international names, so if you need a description of a Brook Ousel (Water Rail) or a Yarwelp (Avocet), they are there to be found.
The immediate difference is the colour photos rather than drawings of each species. Also it limits itself to 280 species that regularly occur in Britain and Ireland as residents or visitors so if you were lucky enough to spot an 'accidental' from Europe, you might not establish an identity. Then again, if you are good enough to know it is an accidental, you will have other guides available!
There isn't a species comparison page (for the various birds of prey for example) and I miss that - you would have to look at the entry for each possibility whereas my well-loved old guides had a comparison page that showed the outline given by all comparable species for quick identification, then turn to the detailed entry for more information.
Ultimately, my daughter chose the pocket edition, specifically because of its size, but I liked this enough to keep it for the car.
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on 17 February 2005
The RSPB Handbook of British Birds is an excellent all-round bird book with many topics not discussed in ordinary identification field guides. The main purpose of the book is to give you a better understanding of the birds in the book with sections on habits, movements and migrations and conservation which gives you an idea of what is causing decline and what can be done to prevent it. It also includes some rare birds frequently seen in Britain such as the Night Heron, Ruddy Shelduck and Scarlet Rosefinch. Wherever possible the book has tried to give as much detailed information as possible, for example instead of saying that a kingfisher eats fish, it gives a good description of the different species of fish taken. All round it is a very good book with some excellent illustrations and good up-to-date maps. An excellent addition for anyone with an interest in birds. Well worth the buy!
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on 26 March 2010
Excellent handbook with superb illustations and crammed with up to date information.
As a 'returning' birdwatcher (albeit with less time & poorer eyesight!) this handbook has proved to be an excellent guide. Kept in the car...its useful as a reference guide just for watching from this 'hide' or carrying with you out of doors.
Very useful endcovers fold into the book which then bookmark your page(s).
Perhaps a little bulky for some outdoor clothing pockets but no problem with most anorak type clothing.
Perhaps could contain more comparison pictures of similarly looking species but this would make the book too cumbersome and bulky.
Overall a very useful tool for novice birdwatchers and those with medium experience.
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on 12 December 2013
I purchased the Kindle version of this book, however, it appears to be more of a PDF type of book. It is completely non-reformattable - you cannot change the font size, orientation, line spacing, etc. You cannot search the book for keywords and the index is so small that it is almost impossible to accurately select the required page on a 7" tablet. The illustrations and content is good but the text size is very small and cannot be changed. Good book but only as a paperback.
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