New Holland European Bird Guide
European Bird Guide by Peter H Barthel & Paschalis Dougalis New Holland 2008 ISBN 9781847731104
New Holland’s blurb for reviewers describes this guide as; Combining authority and portability, the …guide is an essential field companion for any British or European birdwatcher. The only truly pocket-sized comprehensive filedguide to all the continent’s birds and the most up-to-date in terms of taxonomy…
They do well to dwell on its only true advantage over other guides – small sized but comprehensive. This one really will slip into a pocket and not weigh you down and it is up to date with the latest splits such as Iberian chiff-chaff, Caspian gull etc. The taxonomy is not one I would be too worried about as the standard work – Collins – shows these as sub-species but never-the-less illustrates them well. This, of course, is the big drawback – whilst it is, undoubtedly lighter and easier to pocket than Collins it loses out on almost all other respects.
The cramped illustrations are ‘muddy’ to the eye and so small as to make diagnostic features hard to quickly appreciate. The text is necessarily brief and, once more, do not do enough to help separate difficult species. The maps are so small as to be virtually useless – knowing a bird is found in part of Spain, for example, is all very well but not a lot of use if its hard to tell just where the dividing line falls.
Having said this its not too bad as a second stringer and may well find a place in my car’s glove compartment as a handy quick reference for those occasions when one is not birding but spots something anyway. I would also see it as a pretty good buy for the person beginning to show an interest in birds at home and while soaking up rays in the Costas or Med as it will not do too much to push you over the mean luggage allowance on the no frills airlines.
Buy this book from www.nhbs.com
Created: 20th Apr 2008