2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A perfect book for the novice,
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This review is from: Birdsong: 150 British and Irish birds and their amazing sounds (Hardcover)
This book is an excellent guide, and heaven-sent for the amateur observer who is perplexed by bird sounds described as tchk-tchk-pwee or whatever. The player itself is easy to use, though not especially loud, and one rapidly becomes adept at moving through the numbers by which the birdsongs are dialled up: the sound quality is perfectly adequate for its task. Sensibly, the player is designed to shut down after 30 secs of non-use so as to avoid battery wastage.
The book is far more than a mere token accompaniment to the player. It is robustly bound, printed on fine quality paper, and contains superb colour photos of all the species included, together with some drawings (to distinguish male and female, for example, or show the bird in flight). The notes, though fairly brief, are wonderfully informative - on songs and calls, of course, but also about size, habitat, migration, diet, and any distinctive characteristics. There is a helpful general introduction at the start, and an index and bibliography at the end. The 150 species represented seem to include all those that the average observer is likely to encounter in the British Isles.
This is too weighty a tome for use in the field, and in any case the reader is quite rightly requested not to use the player where it might confuse the real songsters. But, for those wishing to learn to distinguish birds by their songs and calls, this book is superb value and of coffee-table quality.