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hultsfret Monday 13th April 2009 20:43

"Pocket" Guide for Europe

I've been using both the Peterson and Jonsson Guide to Birds of Europe for several years and to state the obvious I'd like to say that I am very happy with them. But with 500+ pages each, they're somewhat heavy to take on a mountain trip.

I have been thinking about cutting the book into pieces and just taking the drawings of whatever part I needed (not so many waders on mountain trips), but it seems a little harsh to me.

Does anyone know about a "pocket" guide that he would recommend?



colonelboris Monday 13th April 2009 22:47

Collins Bird Guide is very good for WP birds and is only 400 pages. There's numerous threads about how good it is, so worth considering if you don't mind the bird names in English (although if you follow the link in my signature, there's a solution to that...).
There is a German version (Der neue Kosmos - Vogelführer), but I've only ever seen it in hardback and it's fairly expensive in this format.
Hope that's some help.

Richard Klim Tuesday 14th April 2009 17:00


Depending on the area of coverage that you need, I recommend Kightley, Madge & Nurney 2002 (Pocket Guide to the Birds of Britain and North-West Europe) as a more compact but pretty good field guide:It covers Scandinavia, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Benelux & British Isles.

Stephen Moss, Birdwatch:
  • "Many bird books claim to be 'pocket sized' but few truly fit the bill. So what of this snug little volume from Pica Press? The authors, artist and designer have certainly packed a great deal into a small space: almost 400 species contained within a total of just 300 pages, measuring just 18cm by 12cm, and less than half the weight of a typical field guide. The text, by Chris Kightley and Steve Madge, is a model of concise description, with virtually no words wasted, and brief clear captions pointing out the major identification features. The species accounts have a real air of authority: written by birders for birders, yet also accessible to the beginner. The illustrations, by Dave Nurney, are pleasing to look at, and the colours well reproduced."

Keith Dickinson Tuesday 14th April 2009 19:23

I'll second the Madge and Kightley book, mine lives in the pocket of my sco-pack on the tripod. Great book and very portable.

hultsfret Tuesday 14th April 2009 23:01

Madge and Kightley looks very good, i'll give it a try.


carlj Tuesday 14th April 2009 23:19

How about going electronic? Sony e-reader (not sure what's out there) or some of the dvd guides from birdguides, transferred to ipod/iphone or mp4 player? I get a good 4 hours continuous battery use with the Creative Zen, and expandable memory means I can dedicate 4gb to a multimedia guide.

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