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This is the second in the series, focusing on the season of winter. Most birders go out into the field knowing roughly what might be encountered in a given season and not needing all the information on all species pertaining to the whole year. So the Challenge Series continues with a number of winter 'challenges'. Over 40 challenging taxa are covered in 15 chapters, crammed with information, some of it ‘hot off the presses’. Each ID challenge is presented in a concise and accessible form with accompanying photos, illustrations, and sonograms where appropriate.
The author is acutely aware that people have different learning styles. Not everyone reads books with the same ease and enthusiasm. Besides presenting pithy, easily followed displays of relevant information the author wanted the option to offer video tutorials, sound files, more photos and updates. QR codes answered that desire. With the proliferation of tablets and smart phones, much more material pertinent to each chapter plus fresh discoveries will be available on dedicated web space via the QR codes at the start of each chapter.
"[...] This book makes you think. It’s designed to test and challenge bird identification – it is not ‘set in stone’; it encourages birders to look harder and discover more. And the author has managed this in an easily digestible, open-minded way. It’s on my wish list, along with Autumn, the first in the series."
– Sarah Harris, BTO book reviews
"[...] His ideas and presentations are the raw material of future reference books. He is born pioneer. It is as though he was gifted some kind of metaphysical insight and he is determined to share it for the common good. I have been with him more than once when he noticed identification features that I failed to see but that he, through explaining his perception, brought into existence. Almost literally, he can make the blind see.”
– Anthony McGeehan
"[Challenge Series: Winter] is really testament to Martin Garner's continual willingness to explore the peripheries of contemporary bird identification, pushing boundaries and making discoveries along the way. It's more than seven years since his earlier Frontiers in Birding encouraged people to start thinking outside the box, and the wealth of fresh content in Winter testifies that there really is plenty still to learn. Both titles in this series have been truly great and I for one can't wait to see what the next two instalments have in store. Bring on Spring!"
– Josh Jones, Bird Guides, 28th September 2015