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Introduction 4 THE SPECIES ACCOUNTS 6 Wildfowl (swans, geese, ducks) 14 Cormorants, divers and grebes 70 Seabirds (Gannet, Fulmar, shearwaters, petrels) 86 Rare seabirds 98 Gulls and terns 102 Skuas 156 Auks (puffins, guillemots, Razorbill, murrelets) 165 Waders (plovers, sandpipers, curlews, godwits, snipe and related species) 173 Vagrant waders 221 Large waterside birds (herons, bitterns, egrets, ibis, Spoonbill, cranes, storks) 236 Bustards 252 Crakes and rails (includes Moorhen, coots, gallinules) 254 Pheasants, partridges, grouse and related species 263 Pigeons and doves 273 Sandgrouse 274 Owls and nightjars 281 Birds of prey (eagles, kites, Osprey, buzzards, harriers, hawks, falcons and related species) 292 Kingfishers, cuckoos, Hoopoe, bee-eaters, Roller and parrot 326 Woodpeckers 333 Aerial feeders (swifts, swallows, martins) 338 Larks, pipits and wagtails 347 Dipper, Wren, accentors, oriole, starlings and waxwings 366 Thrushes, chats and wheatears 376 Warblers, cisticola and crests 403 Flycatchers 438 Tits, nuthatches and 'creepers' 443 Shrikes 456 Crows (includes Jay, Magpie, Nutcracker) 464 Sparrows and finches 474 Buntings 496 Vagrant landbirds from North America 510 Birds of uncertain origin and escapes/introductions 522 British & Irish Lists, status and legislation 524 Acknowledgements and photo credits 541 Index 552
Rob Hume, a freelance writer and editor for 35 years and editor of RSPB publications from 1983 to 2009, was Chairman of the British Birds Rarities Committee, and has led wildlife holidays in the UK, Europe and Africa. Robert Still, co-founder and publishing director of WILDGuides, is an ecologist and widely travelled naturalist. Working in computer graphics since their inception, he has developed a high level of expertise in digital imaging and designed many books. Andy Swash has been involved professionally in nature conservation since 1977 and is managing director of WILDGuides. A renowned photographer, he leads photographic tours worldwide, and has devised, co-authored and edited many books. Hugh Harrop founded the ecotourism business Shetland Wildlife and is one of Shetland's top birders and naturalists. His award-winning photographs have been published throughout Europe and North America. David Tipling, one of the world's most widely published wildlife photographers, is author or commissioned photographer for many books and writes regularly for leading wildlife and photographic magazines.
"This guide is head and shoulders above any other photo guide I have seen... This is without doubt the best photo guide now on the market... The ambitious scope of this guide and the high quality of its execution should ensure a wide audience."--Andy Stoddart, Rare Bird Alert "Sets a new benchmark in photographic field guides that will be hard to beat... I recommend it to readers of Another Bird Blog as a book they must buy. My already well-thumbed copy is now in a safe but handy place for quick reference."--Phil Slade, Another Bird Blog "Packed to the brim with undoubtedly the most superb images you will see... This is probably the most complete and comprehensive British Bird Guide I have seen for a number of years. It will no doubt be of interest to birders, regardless of experience or expertise and the authors have certainly set the standard for all future photographic guides."--Paul Freestone, Cornwall Birding "A work that should be on every birdwatcher's bookshelf or kept in a rucksack or pocket... It will become an indispensable aid... Open the book at any page and you are instantly blown away by the quality of the photographs for each species in virtually every plumage stage, be they seasonal, sexual or through ageing... Test it out. Your birding will never be the same."--Stuart Winter, Sunday Express "A complete identification guide masterpiece... The quality of the images and the awesome presentation just took my breath away."--Shropshire Birder "This is simply the Best book covering Britain's birds for a very long time. It's not just for novices either, this will appeal to birders of all abilities and even has something for the twitcher in all of us... A Magnum Opus for Britain's Birds."--Mike King, Gloster Birder "No British birder should be without it and sensible birders across the Channel, including those in Spain, will want a copy too."--Birding Cadiz Province "Britain's Birds is another of the superb series of WILDGuides. The book is the best identification book I have seen."--Ray Collier, Highland News "It's not often a field guide comes along that can accurately be described as a game-changer, but this might just be one... Unrivalled coverage of British birds. It's an absolute must."--Matt Merritt, Birdwatching Magazine "Why would you need another bird identification guide or field guide? Because this one is very good!"--Mark Avery, Sunday Book Review "Princeton University Press's natural-history books deliver the 'wow' factor time and time again, and this ID guide to every bird species seen in the UK including some non-natives is no exception... The result is a must-read for bird enthusiasts."--John Miles, BBC Wildlife "The best-designed field guide for the identification of birds that I've ever seen... Find it. Page through it. Use it when you can. You might even buy it as a piece of bird-publishing art... This is a beautiful book, useful, complete, and extremely well designed. That's why I like it so much: It is well done, right down to cover stock and binding."--Jim Williams, Minneapolis Star Tribune's Wingnut blog "A whopping 3,200 color pictures leave no questions unanswered between the description and the photographs. These authors have figured out the best and easiest way to do the job, which is helping the reader to obtain the best way to identify any of the species of birds in Britain or Ireland."--Avian 101 "This ... brilliant field guide is the best now in print for anybody birding Britain or Ireland."--Towhee blog "As someone that revels in bird identification, I can only congratulate all involved--authors, photographers and researchers--on a magnificent achievement... The combination of images, text and quality that this book offers make it a 'must have' on any British birder's book shelf."--Mike Langman, The Harrier "Every now and then a book comes along that you realise is going to have a major and long lasting impact--this is one such book... It has to be the most comprehensive and detailed field guide to the birds of our country every produced... A very high quality production which is unlikely to be surpassed for decades to come."--Bryan Sage, Country-Side "Britain's Birds is a wide-ranging identification guide to over 600 species of birds recorded in Britain and Ireland... This work is a valuable identification guide to Britain's birds. It sets a high standard and provides a template for future guides."--Choice "A beautifully presented guide that deserves a spot on any birder's bookshelf."--Steve Shultz, Carolina Bird Club Newsletter