Hampshire Bird Report 2000
March 2002 ISBN 0950980528 Available from Hampshire Ornithological Society (Cheques payable to HOS) £8 inc P&P
The first thing I have done on moving to a new county is to get hold of their latest Bird Report… and I am here to tell you they are a very mixed bag. Mostly they are, like the curate`s egg good in parts. Overall they vary from the dryest and least inspiring to the colourful and mouth watering.
Why do most people buy them? Well a great number must do it to see their name in print – a reward for their bothering to send in details of sightings week on week whilst working their local patches. Then, there are those, like me who use it to familiarise themselves with new territory and get a feel for what birds might be seen where and what one should make especial effort to notify the county recorder of it you are lucky enough to turn up a goody.
Most reports, and this latest offering from Hampshire is no exception, are largely a species by species account of all the birds occurring in the county in the year being reported on. This text can be arid or fluid and I am pleased to say that this one falls into the latter category. They all tend to be illustrated by unsung local talent and this report is graced with many line drawings and super little vignettes I suppose to be watercolour in the original. This report also has a few (far too few) photographs all of which are really excellent. I am particularly impressed by those taken of birds in the hand – too often such shots are of LBJ`s too small to ID. Not so with this report – they are posed to make ID obvious.
The rest of such reports are very much up to the local group and this is where some fall down badly or really soar. My local report in Kent scores high and I am pleased to see that the Hants boys do well too. There is a very well written and informative section on the birding year as well as several nicely written pieces on rarity finds and good birding days. These extra pages are what turn this reference work into a fun read and I`d like to see more in every issue.
Of course county reports are also essential for finding out who is who and what is where in a county and the job is done well with this report.
Residents and visiting birders
could hardly spend £8 better than in supporting the HOS and buying this report.
Created: 18th Jul 2002