Reviews

To access  reviews of books, optics and other products, most of my recent write-ups - and many others - can now be viewed online on the Birdwatch website. A few sample review extracts appear below:

Field Guide to the Birds of Macaronesia by Eduardo Garcia-del-Rey (Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 2011)
341 pages, 150 colour plates and 230 distribution maps | ISBN 9788496553712. Hbk, approx £24.78
This is the second field guide to cover the fascinating avifauna of Macaronesia (the Azores, Madeira, Canaries and Cape Verde Islands), a region boasting no fewer than 22 endemic species and 60 endemic subspecies, according to this author. It comes after Tony Clarke’s Birds of the Atlantic Islands, published by Helm in 2006 and following a similar remit. The new work is up to date to the end of 2010, but is smaller in format and has 27 fewer pages. Read more ...

The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World by James F Clements (Helm, London, 2007)
864 pages | ISBN 9780713686951. Hbk, £45
This sixth edition of Clements, as it is universally known, comes seven years after the last and is thus the first since the author’s death in 2005. The challenge of maintaining the most frequently updated world list of birds and, in North America at least, the most widely used, has been taken up by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the first tweak visible on the glossy new dustjacket is a subtle title change. Read more ...

The Status of Birds in Britain and Ireland by David T Parkin and Alan G Knox (Helm, London, 2010)
440 pages, 86 colour photographs | ISBN 9781408125007. Hbk, £50
A thorough, up-to-date volume on the avifauna of these islands has long been overdue, the last being published in 1971, so the arrival of this book is welcome. The fact that it has been compiled by two long-serving stalwarts of the British Ornithologists’ Union’s Records Committee, and yet has been published by Christopher Helm, hints at some unhappy wranglings behind the scenes. The authors are now ex-stalwarts of the BOU, while the organisation itself has a collection of modern checklists which includes the likes of Angola, Barbados and Togo, but not Britain – an unfortunate state of affairs. Read more ...

Swarovski SLC 8x42 HD
810 g | 149x120 mm | 10-year guarantee. £1,510
Just like buses – no major new binocular releases from Swarovski for some 10 years, and then two revamped ranges come along together (well, almost). Hot on the heels of the company’s acclaimed ELII Swarovision models (see Birdwatch 214: 44) comes the improved SLC series, initially featuring 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars. Having recently reviewed the new ELs, I was keen to see how their upgraded stablemate SLCs compared. Read more ...


1 comment:

  1. The SLC binoculars actually look like a good way to buy Swarovski and get a lot of the new & higher-end features while saving money. For tips on squirrel-free birding click here.

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