In this book, you'll find 321 sound recordings, 100 sonograms, two colour plates by Killian Mullarney (for Seebohm’s Wheatears and Dunn’s Larks) and 161 colour photographs. All presented and remembered through personal stories and explanations about the bird sounds in the Maghreb region. The title of the book refers to The Sound Approach sharing sounds and experiences with birders visiting or resident in Morocco and neighbouring countries. But there’s also a more romantic notion to ‘sharing the birds’ since Morocco has such an important role as a temporary home for a great many migrant and wintering birds from western Europe. It means that many bird species of Morocco and Europe are interconnected. Indeed, huge numbers of European migrants spend months in Morocco, and they may be quite familiar with the sounds of local breeders of deserts, high mountains or argan, cedar and oak woods.
As opposed to previous books that included CDs, this book comes with a 16 gigabyte USB key (you will find it attached to the book ribbon) containing all 321 sound recordings from the book, as well as a ‘Key Species Guide to the birds of Maghreb’ featuring 573 recordings from 141 species, together with a text-only PDF for captions. These complete the sound overview of important species of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). The USB key contains both a set of high-quality files for listening with headphones and a set of smaller-sized files for mobile devices. On top of that, there are also ePUB3-booklets with the 573 ‘Maghreb key species’ sounds. These can be uploaded to your phone and have interactive play buttons for direct access to the sounds and captions detailing the recording and a photo. They can be read and listened to with an interactive ePUB3 reader like iBooks (Apple iOS) or Lithium (Android). All for easy learning and enjoying the sounds of the region’s most special species.
- Detailed bird sound explanations of all larks, wheatears, sandgrouse and nightjars.
- Recordings illustrated with photographs of the very birds, plus Killian Mullarney’s plates of the African Dunn’s Lark and Seebohm’s Wheatear.
- Stories of species quietly slipping into extinction in our lifetime, as in Slender-billed Curlew, Northern Bald Ibis, Houbara Bustard and Andalusian Buttonquail
- New sound identification criteria for Maghreb species such as cisticolas, scrub warblers and chaffinches
- Sounds of stunning birds such as Black-crowned Tchagra, Cricket Warbler and Desert Sparrow.
"[...] This has immediately become one of my favourite books. Quite apart from the hundreds of sound recordings, the wealth of information and the glorious photographs make this essential reading before, during and after any trip to Morocco. A field guide will identify all the birds for you, but this book will give you much more. The only downside is the rather high price."
– Nigel Redman, Bulletin of African Bird Club 28(1), March 2021
"[...] This is a wonderful book, packed full of useful information, and it is a skilfully produced and beautifully illustrated volume. It will appeal to readers at many levels, and Arnoud brings it to life with his colourful stories and anecdotes describing his adventures in search of the charismatic Maghreb species. It would undoubtedly be the first choice for my Christmas stocking if I didn’t already have the review copy."
– Peter Kennerley, British Birds 113(12), December 2020
"[...] The result is a fascinating synthesis of knowledge about the region's birds, their sounds, taxonomy and environment, derived to a significant extent from lead author Arnoud van den Berg's extensive field experience in the Maghreb, but with important contributions from the rest of the Sound Approach team [...] Each chapter is [...] fascinating, informative and at times entertaining, and the reading experience is enhanced throughout by the sound recordings, to be played as indicated in the text. Some tracks are rare and many are educational, but importantly they also add a sense of place and encounter. [...] As always, this Sound Approach masterpiece is brought to life by numerous elucidatory sonograms and an outstanding collection of photos [...]"
– Dominic Mitchell, BirdGuides.com, December 2020
"[...] To summarize, this book is definitely worth a read. Some minor weak details are easily forgotten when reading this magnificent work from Arnoud & TSA. For anyone interested in birds of Morocco, the Maghreb or the Western Palearctic, this is definitely the work that needs to be digested. Apart from ‘where to find’, there is not a lot of information you cannot find in this book and the tips on behaviour will serve birders in the field very well. If you are just in it for the enjoyment, the anecdotal style breezes you through this work and the bitesize chapters create this “okay, just one more chapter” feeling and soon you will reach the end of the 308 pages. [...] I would wholeheartedly recommend buying a copy of this work. Other than to support the amazing (field)work of TSA, a valid reason on its own, having access to these recordings on a small USB-stick is invaluable. The enjoyment of bird song might be personal but what beats listening to a full-stereo recording of Greater Hoopoe-lark except the real thing? The added benefit of a simple file allowing for easy access on your phone to nearly 600 recordings, the “Key Species Maghreb” file, is worth a buy alone almost. It saves hours of searching xeno-canto to find good quality recordings, since who needs better recordings than those of TSA? They also already did the downloading for you and you just have to transfer this file onto your phone. You can even save it on your external SD-card and have offline access."
– Diedert Koppenol, Dutch Birding blog, August 2020