Hampshire has a rich ornithological history which can be traced back to the late 18th century when Gilbert White wrote The Natural History of Selborne. John Clark, former County Recorder, has researched the records of rare birds from White’s time to the present day. Many unpublished accounts of the discovery of rarities are included, as well as several amusing anecdotes. An unrivalled collection of photos is included, complemented by a unique series of paintings and sketches of Hampshire rarities as seen through artist Dan Powell’s eyes.
The book includes:
- A brief history of rare bird recording in Hampshire.
- A detailed systematic list including many previously unpublished accounts of the discovery of rarities and an analysis of the occurrences of all but the rarest species.
- An unrivalled collection of photos of Hampshire rarities.
- A unique series of paintings and sketches by Dan Powell.
- Appendices listing escapes, ‘the ones that got away’, ship-assisted birds, historic records from parts of Hampshire now in Dorset and non-proven records.
"John Clark has drawn on his encyclopaedic knowledge of Hampshire birds (and birders!) to produce this in-depth (but impartial) analysis of the history of rare birds of his home county. Extensive research has clearly gone into the older records, in particular, enabling this landmark publication to establish a solid baseline for the current status of all Hampshire rarities. Ahead of the species accounts is a brief but fascinating history of rare bird recording from pre-19th century through to the modern day, charting the change from ‘procurement’ of specimens, to increased field recording, and ever-improving knowledge and technology. [...] Besides the wealth of information on all these rare birds, the majority are of course illustrated with a huge array of generally excellent photographs (and the occasional ‘record’ shot!) of the actual individuals, by an equally wide range of photographers, including some fabled old records [...] Add a generous scattering of Dan Powell’s characterful field notes for some of the numerous rarities that he twitched (or indeed found), and this is an extremely attractive publication"
– Andy Johnson, HOS magazine May 2022