Sunday 27 March 2011

Other Books

Whilst I sometimes (frequently) have difficulty keeping to the main thrust of the blog (narrow-boating) and I do get side tracked from time to time. So I ask you to forebear with me - whilst I have the occasional senior-moment and my fingers embrace the odd non boating topic from time to time.

So today's topic is one that I have covered a number of times - books! However, this time with a view to identifying birds that you might see from your boat. I have acquired a very large number of books over the years. I had thought about setting up an account on Amazon to dispose of them. However, I don't want to go into the book selling business. So I have started taking some to the local charity shops.  As we are down sizing our home and we have now got an Amazon Kindle each. I try to buy my latest purchases in electronic format.

Some of you will know that I have an interest in bird watching (feathered) and I like to share with you any unusual sightings. A blog follower as asked what sort of bird books she should purchase to help with identification. Now for me - books come in two different types - pocket sized field guide and the large reference sized. So I shall give one of each. However, the reference book is a bit special and is not much bigger than a standard field guide.

So the first one I would recommend is a Collins Nature Guide: Birds of Britain and Europe. Originally written by three German authors J. Nicolai, D. Singer and K. Wothe in 1993 The book has been translated by Ian Dawson. ISBN 978-0-26-167402-8 size 17 x 10 x 1 cm

This book covers 310 species and has excellent photographs, habitat descriptions, distribution maps and silhouettes. It is small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket. A quick look on Amazon and there are new copies starting at 55p and used copies for sale, starting at 1p - Yes that's a whole 1p plus any postage.

The second book, is also published by Collins. So I would recommend the Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe available in hardcover and paperback, written by Lars Svensson, Peter J. Grant, Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström. translated by David Christie ISBN 0-00-219728-6 Siz 19.4 x 14.4 x 3 cm

This book is sold into a highly competitive market full of various publishers birding field guides. However, this book is without doubt - the very best reference and field guide available - for Europe. The authors are experts in the field of ornithology and have previously published much on the subject. This guide is full of useful information that has been condensed into a reference book the same size as many existing field guides. You cannot purchase a better reference book than this. I purchased mine when it was first published back in 1999. It looks a bit battered now because it is the first reference book I normally pick up.

You can expect to pay upwards of 15 pounds or more for a decent used copy and around 25 pounds for a new copy.


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