Garden Watch by Sarah Whittley BTO/New Holland 2008 ISBN 9781847731128
Subtitled ‘Making the most of your garden wildlife’ this slim well produced and pleasing volume is a great companion to those moments when you can sit back and enjoy your garden. It also stresses just how important the 15 million gardens in the UK are to our wildlife and adds tips on how wildlife, and so the garden watcher, can get more out of our gardens.
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RSPB Secret Lives of Garden Wildlife by Dominic Couzens RSPB/Helm 2008 ISBN 9780713685343
This gives slightly more depth than the above book and is laid out like a years’ calendar offering intriguing insights to the wildlife, which shares our own patches of land so intimately. From my point of view it is a slightly less pleasing book to look at with an impressionistic style of illustration I favour less and a less rich over all feel. Having said that there is a great deal on offer here from the love life of snails to cannibal caterpillars and the ‘life in a day’ of a mayfly. Just like the volume above it is well worth the outlay and as interesting to the garden watcher as it will be to the young garden user.
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Pajaro ‘Handy Pockets’ From Pajaro, 3343 Las Huertas Rd, Lafayette, CA 94549 USA. http://www.pajaro.com
I feel a bit guilty as Pajaro kindly sent me these ‘handy pockets’ many months ago and I just haven’t got round to resting them out until now. They describe themselves as ‘the ultimate field bag’ and I must say I am impressed.
What we have is is a half-way house between a simple binocular case and a backpack or rucksack. They are compact and can go over the shoulder or on a belt but are capable of holding virtually all of the essentials for a birding trip – i.e. Bins, Bird Fieldguide, notebook, pen and water bottle. I threw one in the car the other day on my way to a few days in Norfolk trying to top up my rather paltry year list and found it just the thing when I went on a foray to a hide at Titchwell. Fatbirder aficionados will know that I am ‘hard of walking’ through an arthritic condition and have to take lots of rests en route to a hide, even on a good day. Moreover, I find it difficult to carry bins, scope and etc. – the more I carry the more painful it gets and the easier I fatigue. An over shoulder bag capable of holding all my bits but not allowing me to over stuff it with unnecessary clutter is ideal and the Pajaro ‘Grande’ bag fitted the bill nicely. Sorry I took so long guys… suffice it to say it was my loss too – I wish I had been using it before!
Big Pockets ‘Tropical Vest’ from Big Pockets, 1745 Gravel Hill Road, Dillwyn, VA 23936 USA. http://www.bigpockets.com
Here’s yet another product sent ages ago but not reviewed… and another one worth the wait. I admit that this hung behind my study door for sometime before getting an outing, but not as long as the bags. I started using this a while back and it too is a great way to transport birding paraphernalia as well as being a useful garment straddling the gap between my short-sleeved polo shirt and a fleece. Just enough for an early start on what will be a warm day. I say straddling – but I should say swathing as this garment is generous enough to manage even the girth of a fatbirder! I particularly like the fact that it has several plastic loops suitable for hanging bits and pieces from like a Swiss Army knife or a torch. Big Pockets for Big Birders!
Created: 21st Apr 2008