By Gordon Hamlett | Buckingham Press | Paperback | Feb 2014 | Edition: 2 | 288 Pages | 218 Colour Maps | ISBN: 9780956987655

The Publisher’s View: The wait is over…. the completely updated and expanded guide to one of Britain’s most popular wildlife-watching regions is now available. Stock of our popular 1st edition sold out in the autumn of 2013, but we’ve been working around the clock to make sure the replacement volume is ready for a new season of birding in the Highlands.

The book covers a huge area – from Perthshire right up to the Caithness Flow Country – and as many of the best birding sites lie outside established nature reserves, and public transport is virtually unknown, a car is the only practical option for birders. For that reason author Gordon Hamlett has organised the information into a series of 24 mainland road trip itineraries, plus in-depth guides to the islands of Mull, Handa and Skye. Almost all the tours are circular in nature, with individual maps for each stopping-off point (the book contains an amazing 218 maps in total – 54 more than the 1st edition).

The author’s extensive knowledge of the area (he’s married to a Scot) is apparent in all the reports and the book is full of useful advice. As part of his introduction, Gordon provides a detailed guide for drivers which first-time visitors will find particularly helpful.

Other features of the book include:
• Birding tips for hundreds of sites based on the author’s practical experience.
• All sites evaluated for wheelchair access.
• Comprehensive seasonal bird and wildlife lists for each route.
• What birds to expect – month by month.
• Clear instructions on locating all named sites.
• A checklist of Highlands birds.
Useful contacts and websites.

Other Views: For the completely updated 2nd edition of Best Birdwatching Sites: Scottish Highlands, author Gordon Hamlett has travelled further and delved deeper to produce the definitive guide to one of the country’s most popular birding regions. The second edition contains up-to-date information on 27 birding routes (expanded from 22 tours in the original edition).

The book’s arrival will be greatly welcomed by birdwatchers frustrated to find that stock of the best-selling 1st edition was exhausted in the autumn of 2013 and the Where To Watch in Scotland volume has been out of print for several years. In the new book, Gordon has provided an in-depth guide to birding sites on the Argyll islands of Mull and Iona to cater for the ever-increasing volume of birders seeking eagles, Corncrakes and an abundance of other interesting species. Other islands that are covered are Handa and Skye and for the first time there is in-depth coverage of North-East Aberdeenshire, which can also boast impressive coastal sites.

Fatbirder View: I said of the first edition… “…you will gather I am a fan of this series; the look feel, layout, design and very practical maps drawn up by the publisher herself; Hilary Cromack, are all first class. This volume is no exception and Gordon Hamlett has made sure that this is well written and has a lightness of touch which lifts what would otherwise be a dry and practical guide…”

Updated and added content are an added bonus and this is even more the guide of choice to the Highlands