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In mid-2017 Safe Haven published a guide to London's Street Trees. Now it follows up with a second quirky London guide in the same style – on where to watch birds in the capital.
Predictably for such a beautifully green city, London is rich in bird life – and not just pigeons, gulls and parakeets. Its flagship wetland reserves at Barnes, Woodberry Down and Rainham offer everything from bitterns to avocets, marsh harriers to bar-tailed godwits. But the sharp-eyed can spot wonderful birds in more mundane London settings: over 100 species listed in a year on Hampstead Heath alone, from goldcrests to hobbies. Peregrine falcons nest in the Barbican and on Battersea Power Station. A short walk from East India Dock DLR is a secluded backwater frequented by teal and shoveller ducks. Detailed listings of some 60 birding locations are augmented by fascinating features ranging from the escaped St James's Park pelican and the ravens at the Tower to the history of the East London cagebird trade and wildfowling on the Thames.
Published with the London Wildlife Trust, Birdwatching London both reveals the amazing variety of birdlife in London and offers a wonderful guide to unexpected places for a day or afternoon out among nature.
David Darrell-Lambert runs the Birdbrain UK ornithological consultancy, regularly carrying out bird population surveys for London boroughs and businesses. He lives in the London Borough of Havering.
"It is over 20 years since Dominic Mitchell's book Where to Watch Birds in the London Area appeared, and much has changed since then. David Darrell-Lambert's new book, published in association with London Wildlife Trust, brings matters up to date, with the inclusion of sites such as Woodberry and Walthamstow Wetlands which have seen great changes in the intervening period. [...] The accounts of the sites themselves are very readable and, so far as I can tell from the sites with which I am familiar, both accurate and helpful. [...] For a reasonable price, there is a huge amount of information, and inspiration, in this book. Newcomers to birding or to London will find it particularly helpful in helping develop their interest [...]"
– Nick Rutter, The London Naturalist 97, 2018
"At first glance this book looks like any ordinary book about birding. However upon closer inspection the author has managed to portray his enthusiasm and personality through his choice of words. This in some cases can even come across as humorous. [...] What I and David’s new book are trying to say is that London is an amazing place to bird watch and eventually if you put in the time and effort it is rewarding."
– Samuel Levy, BTO book reviews