The original Birds of the West Midlands, produced for the West Midland Bird Club's 50th anniversary, was highly acclaimed at the time. Now, 25 years on, the long-awaited New Birds of the West Midlands, has been expanded to almost 500 pages.
Over 330 species have been recorded in the region and the bulk of The New Birds of the West Midlands is devoted to giving an updated account of every one. This analyses the number and frequency of occurrences, the distribution within the region, population trends and gives full details of those rare birds that have occurred less than twenty times. There is also information on the best sites to see many species, migration movements, ringing recoveries and much more. This comprehensive analysis has revealed some unexpected and fascinating facts that may well surprise both expert and novice alike.
In addition to the species accounts, there is a review of the habitat changes that have occurred. This is based on sub-regions that broadly correspond to English Nature's Natural Areas. There are also chapters covering birds, climate and weather; and ringing and migration – both of which provide a broad overview to complement the individual species accounts. For those with an interest in history and people as well as birds, there is a section on the West Midland Bird Club and some of its many well-known personalities, such as Horace Alexander and Tony Norris. The extensive foreword has been written by our president, Bill Oddie.
The informative text is liberally amplified with explanatory charts and maps and enlivened by 50 of Steve Cale's drawings. There are also around 70 colour photographs that illustrate the main habitats and their birds; some species that have declined and some that have increased; and a selection of those new to the region since 1979. This hardback book will also come with a wrap-around dust jacket depicting a stunning, specially commissioned painting by Mike Warren.