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Frontiers in Birding

Martin Garner and Friends

BirdGuides Ltd (ISBN 978-1-898110-47-7)

Here's a book to inspire any birdwatcher. It covers many subjects at the cutting edge of what is being discovered about birds, written by Martin Garner and a team of British birdwatchers who enthuse us about their own efforts to push forward the boundaries of what we know and implore the rest of us to join in.

The contributions include:

  • Ken Shaw on how, where and when to find your own rarities
  • Stuart Rivers' gripping tale of how he and a few mates proved that the island of Barra is a magnet for exciting migrants
  • Dave Farrow's account of the joys of sound-recording
  • Keith Clarkson's reminder that, wherever you live, you can observe and count passing migrants that are probably going unnoticed
  • Jimmy Steele on the excitement of working a local patch, not knowing what might turn up next.

But the meat of the book is Martin Garner's chapters on cutting-edge identification problems. These not only explain what is currently known, they also point out that surely we must be overlooking birds such as female White-winged Scoter, female Green-winged Teal, Pacific Fulmar, Yelkouan Shearwater and Moorhens, Eiders, Merlins and Hen Harriers of the American races. These birds must be out there. Armed with this book, you have a chance of finding them.

This book makes a significant step towards reminding us of what has recently been discovered but more than that it points out that there are many things that are still unknown. The pioneering birders who have contributed to this book have reminded us that there are many frontiers left to explore.

Now available from the Birdwatch Bookshop - order here

Frontiers in Birding BKFIB Regular Price: £20.00
On Sale For: £10.00 

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4 Comments on Frontiers in Birding

    Comments Page 1
  • #1
    Birds don't have to be rare to be difficult. I'm all for the cormorants being in the book. Redpolls next please.

    Haven't had a lot of experience with some of the subspecies but having bought and read the book subsequent to experiencing thousands of Yelkouans those pages really struck home with the impressions and notes I had of this species.

    I found the book to be an inspiration - it proves that there is always something new to learn and new ways and places to do it. No matter where one lives.

    Comment By Julian Bell - Tue 16 Nov 2010 @ 5:31PM
  • #2
    For £28 I expected a higher quality finish of book. The covers are flimsey and the quality of the paper used seems second rate & cheap. I have been reading the book for only one week and already the cover has curled up some of the pages have dog-ears. The section that I awaited with much anticipation was on finding & predicting rarities (which was quoted as 'Inspiring' Although the content was OK on the whole it was very short and sweet.

    Comment By Richard - Wed 25 Jun 2008 @ 1:47PM
  • #3
    Unfortunately, I agree with Alan's comments here. For near enough £30, the book is a huge disappointment. All plates are in black & white and illustrations are of varying quality. The Ian Lewington illustrations seem, as usual, excellent but are ruined by the size they are printed at - the shearwater plate strikes me as bordering on useless, attempting to show 12 birds in an area less than 13 x 9 cm! With all due respect to the authors, it seems a great opportunity for an excellent book has been well and truly missed.

    Comment By Stephen Menzie - Mon 23 Jun 2008 @ 2:41PM
  • #4
    How disappointing. The Cape Gannet section is misleading, There is always more white in the secondaries and tail in the sub ad Gannet than indicated. He goes on about the gular stripe being diagnostic, but no diagram (but see Harrison). There is plenty of room for more diagrams, as the meat of the book is only 110pp The Black-eared Kite diagram is only of the underwing, and only 31x12 mm, and no indication whether this is meant to be ad or imm. The frontal shield of the Laughing Moorhen is not square at the corners. What are the Cormorant ssp doing here as common British birds? There are two lines on Green-winged Teal v. Teal in the summary. The rest is on separating from Baikal Teal, which makes the prepublicity very misleading. The illustrations are poor and many are amateurish. How does a book get to £30 with no photographs, and no colour illustrations by competent artists? I could go on but won't.

    Comment By alan prowse - Sun 22 Jun 2008 @ 2:35PM
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