By Hanne Eriksen, Jens Eriksen and Frances Gillespie | Published by the Authors & Distributed by NHBS | Softcover | 2011 | 248 pages, 400 col photos, dist maps | ISBN-13: 9789948157472
Intended to help novices identify 215 of the 280 species named on the Qatar Bird List, including all the common birds. Species are grouped together according to preferred habitat. Habitats are schematized as a) deserts and arid plains, b) lakes, lagoons and coasts and c) gardens, parks and farms. Seasonal occurrence is also colour coded as a) winter visitor, b) seen during migrtaion, c) summer visitor or d) resident. The status and size of birds is also indicated diagramatically.
The introduction provides advice on how to watch and identify birds, what equipment to use and where to find birds in Qatar. Species to be seen in parks or gardens include White-eared and Red-vented Bulbul, Laughing Dove, Alexandrine, Rose-ringed Parakeet, House Sparrow, Indian Silverbill and Common Myna.
Each full-page species account includes a colour illustration, English and Latin names, distribution map, seasonality and notes on behaviour and ecology, as well as distinguishing features.Its one of those books that does ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ – as it is definitely for people living or working in Qatar who want to know what that bird was that popped into their garden or they saw as they jogged around the local park or drove out into the dessert. It is, by its very nature simple and straightforward and the arrangement by habitat makes sense. So there are some general notes about birdwatching designed to bring out the conservationist in the reader and none the worse for that.
Its not ideal for the more serious birder who would want the birds in a more standard layout and probably. Like me prefer good line drawings rather than photos and a whole lot more detail besides but it does what it sets out to do and does it admirably.