| By Marianne Taylor & Stephen Message | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2022 | Paperback | eBook available 9781472994722 | 272 pages, 800 colour illustrations, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9781472994721 | £7.99p |

The Publisher’s View:

A compact, lightweight and informative guide to 310 of the most common birds found in the UK.

RSPB Pocket Guide to British Birds is a compact, lightweight and informative field guide, featuring 310 bird species regularly seen in the UK. Species are illustrated in all distinct plumage forms likely to be observed in the wild by renowned bird artist Stephen Message, and a detailed distribution map for the British Isles is also provided.

Concise text covers appearance, behaviour and voice – focusing on key identification points – and also outlines where you will find the species, describes its seasonal movements and includes the latest UK population data. Finally, confusion species are cross-referenced, with their most important and easily noted differences from the subject species described. A comprehensive introduction provides a guide on how and where to find birds, and how to make the most useful and rewarding observations for newcomers to birdwatching.

Uniquely, this guide also provides images and descriptions for not only a selection of rarer visitors, but also for a range of domestic species and certain commonly observed aberrant forms of more familiar birds, all of which are omitted from most field guides but can cause great confusion for beginners when encountered in the wild.

The Authors:

Marianne Taylor is a freelance writer, editor, illustrator, and photographer. She has written more than thirty books on natural history, including The Gull Next Door and The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species.

Stephen Message is one of the UK’s foremost bird artists and illustrators and a very experienced birder.

Fatbirder View:

‘Fit for purpose’ is a much over used phrase these days, usually used negatively. Looking at this super little pocket book I can say this is supremely fit for purpose. It fits in the pocket, illustrates and describes most birds you will see in the UK even as an experienced birder, and does the RSPB proud.

A really inexpensive book that should be in the pocket of everyone walking in the country, taking their kids out to the park or on a staycation. Not since the Observer book beloved of many of us oldies has there been a better book to slip into that youngsters Christmas stocking in the hope that they will be able to name what they see and love and preserve what they name.

Marianne Taylor has written more books than you can shake a stick at so knows how to pack in the facts succinctly, which you need for this diminutive gem.

Stephen Message has long been a favourite artist of mine… a couple of his prints grace my walls. Of course they are accurate in every feathered detail but he also manages to give each bird life and character… how do artists do that?

Another over used phrase to finish… the will become a classic!

Buy this book from NHBS