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This is the second edition of a work by the first two authors, published in 2002. It has been largely re-written, so as to include records of 300 species, results from recent surveys and county Atlases, and commentary from 2001 to the present day. It covers the Quantock Hills, the Exmoor National Park and adjacent areas, from Nether Stowey west to Combe Martin, and from the Bristol Channel south to Wiveliscombe and Dulverton. Also included is a section on eight “Special Places” by residents from Bishops Lydeard, Watchet, Minehead, Bratton, Porlock, Chipstable, East Anstey and Exmoor Forest. Published with the support of the National Park and the County and Exmoor Natural History Societies.
I would hope that this publication serves two purposes – to provide a detailed history and current guide to the birdlife of these three important upland features of Somerset and the countryside and coastline in between, and to encourage those that have not visited the region to do so very soon. As the authors point out, the region has been subject to change over the years and particularly in recent times. The effects have rarely benefited Somerset's uplands, but that said, there is diversity of species aplenty.
Where the BTO ATlas 2007-2011 gave an overview of bird distribution and the Somerset Atlas 2007-2012 honed in on breeding and wintering populations, The Birds of Exmoor and the Quantocks takes you up and down the combes of Exmoor and the Brendons and the steep valleys of the Quantocks, seawatching at Hurlestone Point and up to your knees in Blackpitts mires. None know the whole area as well as the authors but the addition of 'Special Places' capitalizes on local knowledge while beautiful photographs and sketches makes this a very enjoyable read and cannot help but encourage new interest in this relatively unspoiled and little-visited part of Somerset.
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