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Old Thursday 16th February 2017, 18:06   #1
Stonefaction
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Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East : A Photographic Guide

Anybody else bought this (by Jiguet & Audevard)? My pre-ordered copy arrived today and I do like the look of it. One of the things that I'm liking about it is the inclusion of introduced species (such as the Parrotbills in Italy, the Leiothrix in France/Spain, Weavers and Bishops from Portugal) as well as a few 'new' birds that I haven't heard of elsewhere - "Ambiguous" Reed Warbler and "Thick Billed" Reed Bunting to name a couple. Also photos of 'Mediterranean' Shag which I haven't seen anywhere else.

Dimensions are very similar to the Collins and assuming that it is accurate, it looks to be a nice companion to the Collins. It isn't as comprehensive with regards plumage/age of every species as WildGuides Britain's Birds book, but there still appears to be plenty of info/photos crammed in.
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Old Thursday 16th February 2017, 21:49   #2
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.............One of the things that I'm liking about it is the inclusion of introduced species (such as the Parrotbills in Italy, the Leiothrix in France/Spain, Weavers and Bishops from Portugal) as well as a few 'new' birds that I haven't heard of elsewhere - "Ambiguous" Reed Warbler and "Thick Billed" Reed Bunting to name a couple. Also photos of 'Mediterranean' Shag which I haven't seen anywhere else.

...............
The inclusion of those introduced species may well be the decisive point for me to buy the book. They are all too often treated with neglect. Thanks for the info!
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Old Thursday 16th February 2017, 23:45   #3
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Good to hear it's out but I fear that my local bookshops are unlikely to carry it. Looking at pages posted of the original French version (http://www.delachauxetniestle.com/ou.../9782603021675) it seems to be better than other Europe-wide photo guides. However, the Wildguides book still seems to me to be miles ahead in terms of layout, design and comprehensive coverage so I'd be inclined to hold out for the promised 'European' version of that guide .... who am I kidding, I'll buy it for sure since I'm an addict!
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Old Friday 17th February 2017, 00:10   #4
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who am I kidding, I'll buy it for sure since I'm an addict!
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Old Friday 17th February 2017, 08:16   #5
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Having bought the French language Rare Birds book by the same duo, I was never in any doubt as to whether or not I'd be buying this one, when I saw it was coming out (I'd almost bought the French language version on the strength of the Rare book). I agree about the layout and comprehensive coverage of Britain's Birds being superior. The coverage of plumage variation etc in the French book is certainly less comprehensive but still decent. Comparing it to the Rare book, there are less photos used (not surprising given an extra 400 species) and some of the photo choices do seem slightly unusual but for a photo guide with such wide coverage it certainly brings something extra to the party with the coverage of the introduced species.

Introduced species and/or escapes in the book that I haven't seen (that I remember - some mentioned in back section of Collins) in other European fieldguides - Black Swan, White Faced Whistling Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Reeve's Pheasant, California Quail, Northern Bobwhite, Erckel's Francolin, Pink Backed Pelican, Indian Pond Heron, Chinese Pond Heron, Sacred Ibis, Lesser/Chilean/American Flamingo, Fischer's Lovebird, Monk Parakeet, Red Billed Leiothrix, Vinous Throated Parrotbill, House Crow, Common Myna, Crested Myna, Indian Silverbill, African Silverbill, Tricoloured Munia, Common Waxbill, Red Avadavat, Iago Sparrow, Black Headed Weaver, Yellow Crowned Bishop. There may be some I've missed but that's the bulk of them.

While compiling the above list I did notice at least 1 omission that is in the Rare book - Sulphur Bellied Warbler. There are quite a number of African species which have been recorded once or twice in the book, that I haven't seen elsewhere also (other than the Rare book).

John, I bought the book mainly because I'm addicted too.
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Old Friday 17th February 2017, 15:28   #6
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Re Pink Backed Pelican: I know this has been discussed in the (way) past: how common is it really as a captive bird vs the potential as a genuine vagrant? I remember a discussion with a friend who had not gone to see one of these on the thought it would be an escape -- but he later found out that a couple of month before there had been a genuine flux north in Africa compared to where they normally lived and that it was supposedly rare in captivity.

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Old Friday 17th February 2017, 15:57   #7
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Quote:
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................... I bought the book mainly because I'm addicted too.
Talking about addicts, I could not resist either!
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Old Friday 17th February 2017, 20:56   #8
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Text & some plates of the English version can be seen here - https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...page&q&f=false
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Old Friday 17th February 2017, 21:12   #9
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Text & some plates of the English version can be seen here - https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...page&q&f=false
Depending on where in the world you are ...

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Old Saturday 18th February 2017, 20:11   #10
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Nipped into town to buy a copy from my local Waterstones - despite being a few pounds more I like to buy books locally when I can rather than just online - and naturally they didn't have a copy on the shelves nor in their warehouse. That's the 4th time in a row they've not had wildlife/bird books I've wanted (all from mainstream publishers) - no wonder they're unable to compete with the internet!
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Old Saturday 18th February 2017, 21:31   #11
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Re Pink Backed Pelican: I know this has been discussed in the (way) past: how common is it really as a captive bird vs the potential as a genuine vagrant? I remember a discussion with a friend who had not gone to see one of these on the thought it would be an escape -- but he later found out that a couple of month before there had been a genuine flux north in Africa compared to where they normally lived and that it was supposedly rare in captivity.

Niels
Well, it was in my Heinzel, Fitter and Parslow Collins as a wild bird in Egypt in previous times, so presume it was thought to occur there ... or is that not what you meant?
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Old Saturday 18th February 2017, 23:22   #12
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It was brought up in a previous post in a list of
Quote:
Introduced species and/or escapes in the book
I was asking if that was correct to place it in that list or if it would be better to place it in a list of natural vagrants. Edit: in both cases, it is good that it is included in the book!

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Old Sunday 19th February 2017, 08:03   #13
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There's a fairly large population oft free-flying birds in southern France with at least 20 birds roaming the area of Narbonne. Friends also Bad a Great White Pelican together with those.
I'm not sure though if they reproduce outside the reserve africaine and how far they roam

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Old Sunday 19th February 2017, 18:55   #14
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Niels, what the book says about Pink-Backed Pelicans is "Small pelican of African Origin. Escapes and free-flying birds in S France. .....". The other 2 Pelican species also mention possible escapes in the text too. Also the list was my own compilation, rather than the authors, so the inclusion in it was solely down to me (though mostly based on the species text).

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Old Sunday 19th February 2017, 19:56   #15
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And there seems to be more escaped birds around than I imagined. Thanks for the info!

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Old Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 18:07   #16
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I picked up my copy today and my initial impression was quite favourable given that I'm not a huge fan of photoguides. I hope to write a more measured review anon but my immediate reaction was that the authors' aim to cover all species (inc. vagrants) in an easily portable book has (understandably) compromised the range of photos showing various plumages/postures. Its layout/format is far more conventional than other recent photoguides (Wildguides & Crossley). As others have noted the coverage of introduced species is particularly good (although not comprehensive). It doesn't come close to challenging the primacy of Collins Bird Guide but it's a reasonable quick photographic reference.
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Old Friday 24th February 2017, 21:02   #17
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Whilst I still quite like the guide the penny has just dropped that whilst the original French book as simply called “Tous les oiseaux d'Europe”, this English version has added North Africa & the Middle East to the title. This is clearly nonsense since the introduction is obviously centred on Europe and the species texts repeatedly refer to birds from these regions as 'vagrants'. Worse a good many species found in both areas are omitted. Those included clearly only gain their place by virtue of having been recorded in Europe as vagrants. It should more properly be called "Birds of Europe (inc. the Azores, Canaries, Madeira & Cyprus). Being published by the American firm Princeton is no excuse!
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Old Yesterday, 21:02   #18
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............. Those included clearly only gain their place by virtue of having been recorded in Europe as vagrants. It should more properly be called "Birds of Europe (inc. the Azores, Canaries, Madeira & Cyprus). Being published by the American firm Princeton is no excuse!
I have come to the same conclusion, though I had not realized where the oddity came from. Definitely a misleading title.

Nevertheless, I like the book, not as a FG, but as a supplement to study things at home. The "Peterson" type bars with text as in the "Collins" are excellent too. Often, I find new elements, particularly regarding subspecies differentiation.

Photos definitely show that field marks are not always as prominent as drawings suggest. But the limited coverage of comparative illustrations such as tail patterns in wheatears clearly shows the deficiencies of the photo approach.
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Old Yesterday, 22:11   #19
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Photos definitely show that field marks are not always as prominent as drawings suggest. But the limited coverage of comparative illustrations such as tail patterns in wheatears clearly shows the deficiencies of the photo approach.
Or is it that photos freeze the moment in a way which does not show field marks in the way in which we experience them in the field?

I agree regarding things like wheatear tails. Sagely, 'Britain's Birds' (currently in my view by far the best photo guide available this side of the Atlantic) sidesteps the issue with regard to wheatear tails by using drawings to illustrate the point! If the promised European version of this book comes to fruition I think it will be a significant advance on Jiguet & Audevard. Until then I think it can claim the crown as the best such guide available in Europe.

I'm just putting some finishing touches to a review of the guide which I hope to put online within a day or two ...
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