Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland

By Mark Golley |Illustrated by David Daly | Bloomsbury| Paperback | March 2016 | 208 Pages | Colour Illustrations | ISBN: 9781472917461

description of the image

The Publisher’s View: Stunningly illustrated and simple to use, this brand new, fully updated, edition of a practical and informative guide is a must for any birdwatcher’s pocket. Whether observing what is feeding, nesting or bathing in your garden, or further afield, or trying to identify a bird on the wing, Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland is perfect for use at home, out in the car or in the field.

Arranged in taxonomic species order, it is ideal for both the beginner and the more experienced birdwatcher. Birdwatching expert Mark Golley writes the comprehensive and informative jargon-free text. Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland is packed with identification tips, details of habitat and calls for over 280 bird species, and includes all those seen regularly in Britain and Ireland, as well as some of the less common migrants. It is illustrated throughout with more than 1,000 spectacular, full-colour illustrations by leading bird artist David Daly.

The Author: Mark Golley is a regular contributor to birding magazines and is well known for his refreshing and easy approach to bird identification. He spent four years as warden of the world-famous Cley Marshes nature reserve, close to where he lives in North Norfolk.

David Daly is one of Europe’s leading bird artists. He has taken part in a number of expeditions to various parts of the world. His work has been exhibited widely and his illustrations have appeared in numerous books and calendars as well as prestigious magazines including British Birds. He lives in County Wexford, Ireland.

Fatbirder View: My first reaction was “Oh no! Not another book on British birds”, followed by the thought “Do we really need another?”. Then I picked it up and found I really liked it. Not sure I can answer my own question about whether we need it, but I can say its one I’d want if I didn’t have it.

When the ground has been not just well trodden but beaten to a rapidly eroding path just any only entry to the shelves will not do. To cut it in the birder’s eye, a book needs to outdo what is already out there, or create a niche of its own. Mark Golley has, I think, managed the latter. Its an odd niche as it seems to specifically cater to two ends of the spectrum. On the one hand this is a very accessible book making it a great choice for beginners, especially as it is not loaded down with European species that you are just not going to turn up on your country stroll or see at your feeders. On the other hand, more experienced nature lovers, finding themselves morphing into birders who are keen to expand their frontiers and probably extend their life list will find enough scarce and rare birds well illustrated and meeting their needs.

If you read the brief text you are unlikely to embarrass yourself with unlikely birds in the wrong season, at the wrong end of the country. The words may not be over abundant but they are pithy. So if you are setting off in search of a longer year list this needs tucking in the pocket to be consulted when you are not sure whether you looking at a female Stonechat or a newly arrived Whinchat, a relatively common marsh Tit or the sadly scarce Willow Tit.

The illustrations are not credited, which is a shame as they are, mostly delightful, I guess they are in-house.

When it comes to new bird books I love it when my first thoughts are so very wrong, this certainly deserves some shelf space.

Buy this book from NHBSFatbirder