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Field Guides & Natural History  Ornithology  Birds of Europe/Western Palaearctic

Britain's Birds An Identification Guide to the Birds of Great Britain and Ireland

Field / Identification Guide New Edition SPECIAL OFFER
By: Rob Hume(Author), Robert Still(Author), Andy Swash(Author), Hugh Harrop(Author), David Tipling(Author)
576 pages, 3200+ colour photos
Publisher: WILDGuides
Four years after the successful first edition, Britain's Birds will soon be available in a second edition, including 12 new species and more than 400 updated photos.
Britain's Birds
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  • Backlist Bargains Britain's Birds ISBN: 9780691158891 Edition: 1 Paperback Jul 2016 In stock
  • Britain's Birds ISBN: 9780691199795 Edition: 2 Paperback Jun 2020 Available for pre-order : Due Jun 2020
Selected version: £12.99
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About this book

A bestselling guide since it was first published, Britain’s Birds has quickly established itself as the go-to photographic identification guide to the birds of Great Britain and Ireland – the most comprehensive, up-to-date, practical and user-friendly book of its kind. Acclaimed by birdwatchers of all kinds, from the beginner to the most experienced, the guide has now been thoroughly revised and updated to make it even better than before. Combining the finest of identification guide content and presentation, this eagerly awaited second edition preserves the best of the first edition while covering twelve newly recorded species and offering a host of improvements that make identification easier.

- Provides comprehensive coverage of all the birds ever recorded in Britain and Ireland
- Describes and illustrates all plumages likely to be encountered
- Features more than 3,200 stunning photographs carefully selected to show the birds as you really see them
- Outlines simple steps to help you identify any bird you see
- Presents simple and accurate comparisons of similar and difficult species

New features include:
- Coverage of 12 new species recorded since the first edition plus revisions to reflect the latest taxonomy
- Coverage of all subspecies
- Improved identification aids, including more than 400 new photos, enhanced photo annotations and many redesigned plates
- Fully revised species accounts, including the latest information on identification features, status, numbers, geographical range and date ranges for all plumages that may be seen during only part of the year

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Great use of photographs
    By Keith 24 Aug 2016 Written for Paperback
    Wow! How field guides have changed – even just in the last ten years! There are some people who prefer to see drawings or paintings of birds, but I have always chosen to look at photographs first. For me, there is nothing better than a good photograph to convey the texture of each bird’s plumage.

    This new guide gives comprehensive photographic coverage of every bird recorded in Britain and Ireland to date. Not only are the species there, but so too are many races – so for example, Siberian Stonechat is shown with images of three different races. So the team has tried hard to be really up to date.

    Using photo-montage techniques, this is the only British guide to show all plumages likely to be encountered, and to achieve this it uses over 3,200 colour photographs from around 100 photographers. The book focuses on using simple steps to help you find and identify any bird you see – for the accipiters there is a great page showing Sparrowhawk and Goshawk in flight at the same scale, with 12 images in total. When you then turn to the actual pages for these species there are 8 and 6 additional photographs.

    The text is fairly short but easy to follow, with the key field marks shown in bold. Male, female and juvenile plumages are described, but they are a bit too succinct in places. For example, a juvenile Sparrowhawk is described simply as “rusty-brown”. I was particularly pleased at the relatively large number of flight shots used. The voice is also described except for vagrants. Various codes indicate the latest BirdLife status of each species and also those that are Red or Amber listed in the UK. Colour maps indicate distribution in Britain and Ireland, and these are mostly very good, although at this size it is hard to be really accurate. Corn Buntings are shown breeding on the Isle of Wight (they left in 2003) and Montagu’s Harriers are not shown for Wiltshire (they breed every year). Migration routes are suggested for many species.

    So is it the best photographic guide to buy? In my view it is the best in terms of coverage. The book to compare with is The Crossley ID Guide – Britain & Ireland (also published by Princeton). I certainly prefer the labelling in this new book – everything is clearly marked. The Crossley ID Guide is a bit more pleasing on the eye but it only covers 300 species (compared to almost 600 in the new guide). This book weighs 1.2 kg which is a quite a lot for one with a relatively small page size.

    Overall this is a great book. Each page is full of images and packed with useful tips. It is hard to open a page and not find something that you’ll find useful.
    10 of 10 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No


Rob Hume is a freelance writer, editor and artist, with more than thirty books on birds to his name. Robert Still is publishing director of WILDGuides and a prolific natural history author. Andy Swash is managing director of WILDGuides and a well-known wildlife photographer and author. Hugh Harrop is an award-winning photographer and the owner of the ecotourism business Shetland Wildlife. David Tipling is one of the world's most widely published wildlife photographers and the author or commissioned photographer of many books. The five are also coauthors of British Birds: A Pocket Guide (Princeton WILDGuides).

Field / Identification Guide New Edition SPECIAL OFFER
By: Rob Hume(Author), Robert Still(Author), Andy Swash(Author), Hugh Harrop(Author), David Tipling(Author)
576 pages, 3200+ colour photos
Publisher: WILDGuides
Four years after the successful first edition, Britain's Birds will soon be available in a second edition, including 12 new species and more than 400 updated photos.
Media reviews

Reviews of the first edition:

"[...] I conclude that the now so universal medium of photographic record has finally delivered its long nascent message. The excellent work of Hume, Still et al. has shouldered its way in between ‘Peterson’ and ‘Svensson’ on my nearest bookshelf. I recommend it very highly."
– D.I.M. Wallace, Ibis 159(1), December 2016

"[...] this is a significant new field guide, and birders are unlikely to be disappointed; everyone will learn something from this book."
– Andy Musgrove, BTO book reviews

"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

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