Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
Shortcoming and strengths
on 8 June 2009
An attractive looking book but is suited more as a reference book than a field guide due to it's weight. I'm afraid the lack of maps is a major omission - whether I'm in S.America, India or SE Asia one of the standard ways of eliminating birds for ID purpses is by checking its range on a map. I also prefer the Collins layout of placing relevant information opposite illustrations, rather than having to checking a plates number and referring to data in the second half of the book -its just easier to use. I've bought it to take to Vietnam and Cambodia and scanning through the sections describing bird's ranges have only found one reference to Vietnam so far. I'm sure it must be described in a different way - but it isn't obvious.
Its strengths lie in the area it covers and the number of birds it describes. If you are travelling through the whole area this guide covers and had to take a separate guide for each country, this guide would seem light and easy to use.
So is it worth getting? Well it might sound like I'm suggesting it isn't but it's the most up to date guide of the area and I haven't yet found a guide that can beat it. I'm sure that in the future as more interest is taken in the area guides will emerge for individual countries with the information in a more accessible form. However for the time being it is the best guide I've come across for the area so I'm happy to have it.