The County Avifaunas are a growing series giving full details of the status and range of every species recorded in the county in question. Each title covers all species on the county list, with a detailed breakdown of rarity records, and each has introductory sections describing the county's general ecology, climate, weather patterns, its ornithological history and conservation record. Essex is of national and international importance to many migrating and wintering wildfowl and waders, which can be found on the estuaries. Further inland, the Lea Valley harbours important populations of several species within the complex of reservoirs and gravel-pits. Elsewhere, the diverse habits of woodland and parkland, heaths and commons, agricultural land and urban areas mean that at all times of year there is the opportunity to see upwards of 100 species in a day with little effort.
This book analyses and summarises all the data collated and documented over the last 200 years and includes available records to the end of 2004. Introductory chapters discuss the geology and habitats of Essex and the amazing fossil bird record. The individual accounts provide an up-to-date status of each species and patterns of occurrence within Essex. A distribution map is included for most breeding species. A breakdown and analysis are provided for all county rarities. Superb line drawings and photographs illustrate the book, all by talented local artists and photographers. This book is an essential reference for anybody who has watched birds in this amazing county.
Simon Wood joined the Essex Birdwatching Society in 1980 and was on theExecutive Committee from 1995-2003, being Vice-Chairman from 2001-2003.His paper "Rare Birds in Essex: An Update" in EBR 1995 proved to be theseed of the Avifauna project but it was not until autumn 1998 that workbegan in earnest; nearly eight years and a massive 8,000 of his owntime later the task, with the help of a few good friends, was complete.
'a great complilation of material and surely essential for all birders living in the country, not only for an enjoyable thumb-through, but also for future reference.' birdguides.com (November 2007)