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Lynx: Birds of Thailand, Birds of Vietnam

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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 13:15   #1
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Lynx: Birds of Thailand, Birds of Vietnam

I saw that there is a new Birds of Thailand fieldguide by Lynx edicions, and they also announced a Birds of Vietnam with the same concept:

https://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds-thailand-0
https://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds-vietnam

Anyone got the Thailand guide and can comment? Any reviews out there already?

I'm not sure what to think about the idea with the QR codes for every species, linking to the IBC collection. Perhaps practical, but personally I usually do research on images and videos not on the phone, but on the PC, and then not only look at IBC only but at other resources as well. So I guess I would not use it much and prefer not to have these ugly codes plastered all over the book.

But if the book is good in anything else, that would be just a minor annoyance to me.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 13:35   #2
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I've got the Thailand guide. Initial impressions are favourable, though I've not looked at it too closely. The format is similar to other Lynx guides (e.g. the Indonesia and New Guinea ones). I get the impression that there's less wasted space in the Thailand guide though (i.e. less blank space at the bottom of pages), which is a good thing. The illustrations of individual birds seem a bit bigger in most cases too. There's the quirk of having the maps included in the plates rather than with the text, which takes a bit of getting used to but the maps are big and clear.

I've not looked closely at the text yet, but the format is similar to other Lynx guides with useful stuff such as a similar species section and any alternative names listed. One minor annoyance I spotted was with the ordering of species in the plates, particularly in the Phylloscopus warblers, where similar species weren't always grouped together in a very logical way e.g. Eastern Crowned Warbler appears rather randomly in amongst the 'Seicercus' type warblers, which don't look very similar to it.

I would certainly get the book if you've an interest in birds in the region.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 19:33   #3
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The format is similar to other Lynx guides (e.g. the Indonesia and New Guinea ones).
Thanks a lot! I have the Indonesia guide and like it (although unfortunately had not yet the opportunity to use it in the field). So I will certainly get the Vietnam book once it is out.

I think Lynx is reusing the plates of HBW for these guides, and comissioned additional drawings for different plumages and positions (e.g. in flight). I wonder if these additional plates are then added also to HBW alive?
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 19:42   #4
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I see the Thailand guide is listed as being a hardback. If that means it is similar to the Indonesian archipelago guide in weight, it will be uncomfortably heavy for field use. Really don't understand why the publisher is not offering paperback editions.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 20:20   #5
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I see the Thailand guide is listed as being a hardback. If that means it is similar to the Indonesian archipelago guide in weight, it will be uncomfortably heavy for field use. Really don't understand why the publisher is not offering paperback editions.
Yes, it's pretty much the same size and weight. It's a little bit slimmer (44 pages shorter) but otherwise is fairly hefty. I like to think Lynx will bring out an app at some stage in the near future but I don't know if that will actually happen.
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2018, 23:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalat View Post
I think Lynx is reusing the plates of HBW for these guides, and comissioned additional drawings for different plumages and positions (e.g. in flight). I wonder if these additional plates are then added also to HBW alive?

The answer to your question is yes.
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2018, 23:38   #7
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I see the Thailand guide is listed as being a hardback. If that means it is similar to the Indonesian archipelago guide in weight, it will be uncomfortably heavy for field use. Really don't understand why the publisher is not offering paperback editions.

Overall weight is largely governed by the number of pages and the quality of the paper used. Whether a book is softback, hardback or laminated softback really makes rather little difference to the weight of any given guide. Given this, Lynx has typically published hardcover field guides in the belief that these will be more resistant to the rigours of field use. It is, nevertheless, the case that a hardback book might prove less easily stuffed into a small space like a day bag.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 07:00   #8
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Quote:
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Overall weight is largely governed by the number of pages and the quality of the paper used. Whether a book is softback, hardback or laminated softback really makes rather little difference to the weight of any given guide. Given this, Lynx has typically published hardcover field guides in the belief that these will be more resistant to the rigours of field use. It is, nevertheless, the case that a hardback book might prove less easily stuffed into a small space like a day bag.
I think I've only used one hardcover in the field (Wallacea) and it didn't fare that well, as you say, not easy to jam in to a bag resulting in damage to the cover, especially corners.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 07:33   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMK View Post
Overall weight is largely governed by the number of pages and the quality of the paper used. Whether a book is softback, hardback or laminated softback really makes rather little difference to the weight of any given guide. Given this, Lynx has typically published hardcover field guides in the belief that these will be more resistant to the rigours of field use. It is, nevertheless, the case that a hardback book might prove less easily stuffed into a small space like a day bag.
Agree, but paperback editions are significantly lighter in my experience; just because it is paperback doesn't mean the only change they make is to swap covers.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 08:34   #10
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Agree, but paperback editions are significantly lighter in my experience
It adds roughly 150g to the weight of a field guide, so less than 7%, give-or-take.

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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 10:16   #11
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The answer to your question is yes.
Thanks a lot

I also prefer paperback editions generally to hard covers. The pointy corners of the hard cover are usually bothersome and wear off quickly.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 11:06   #12
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Thanks a lot

I also prefer paperback editions generally to hard covers. The pointy corners of the hard cover are usually bothersome and wear off quickly.
Of course, the soft corners of the paperbacks wear out as well. In the end, they usually look worse in less time.

But I also prefer soft covers, particularly those that come with some type of lamination. It's the fact that the soft covers adapt better to the space available that is important. Plus, the hard covers make the book thicker, that is often more of a problem than the slight weight increase.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 15:06   #13
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It adds roughly 150g to the weight of a field guide, so less than 7%, give-or-take.

James

That's significant. I would be delighted if I could lose 7% of my weight! And using a lighter weight paper could make a paperback edition even lighter.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 15:10   #14
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I have had only a couple of hardcover books that I actually have used in the field. In both, the back fell off, and later the front came off one of them, while the back came off the other. I have used a number of softcover books extensively in the field: I have not experienced a softcover book fall apart in the same way.

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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 15:52   #15
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I have had only a couple of hardcover books that I actually have used in the field. In both, the back fell off, and later the front came off one of them, while the back came off the other. I have used a number of softcover books extensively in the field: I have not experienced a softcover book fall apart in the same way.
Same here.

I also like best laminated soft covers. The cover needs to have the same size as the pages and not protrude. Corners will also wear off, but slower as with prodtruding covers and the cover will not come off entirely.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 16:25   #16
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Anyone got the Thailand guide and can comment? Any reviews out there already?
The one review I've been made aware of is by Nick Upton: http://www.thaibirding.com/book_revi...f-thailand.htm . I happened to chat with him at Birdfair and he was very complimentary.
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Old Friday 24th August 2018, 16:51   #17
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Excellent, thanks! Sounds good indeed (apart from size and cover )!
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Old Monday 17th September 2018, 15:04   #18
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Here's another review, in Dutch Birding: https://www.dutchbirding.nl/recensie...ds_of_thailand
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 12:59   #19
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One more in the make: https://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds-japan-0

Wasn't there a relatively new Helm guide as well for Japan?
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 13:06   #20
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One more in the make: https://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds-japan-0

Wasn't there a relatively new Helm guide as well for Japan?
Yes, there's the Mark Brazil one.

It would be good if they could do one for China, which there would be a lot more demand for and is much more needed.
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 14:32   #21
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The Vietnam book can now be preordered at a discount: https://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds-vietnam

And it looks like the publishers are listening

Quote:
This book is the hardcover version of Birds of Vietnam. It is also available in a new flexible, water-resistant cover that is perfect for use in the field.
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 14:41   #22
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Here are sample pages of the forthcoming Vietnam guide.

http://lynxeds.info/item/vietsp1/?id...f+Vietnam+-+EN
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 15:54   #23
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The Vietnam book can now be preordered at a discount: https://www.lynxeds.com/product/birds-vietnam

And it looks like the publishers are listening
Definitely a great way to make this book more attractive for those who want to use it in the field.

And by adding some new illustrations with every book, one can hardly get around buying it. I have only checked on the swift plate provided. Aside from some name changes due to splits, many species also come with new illustrations of the underside (e.g. Himalayan Swiftlet and most Needletails). These illustrations are not in the Thailand FG! (And I presume they are also not in any of their previously published books.)
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Last edited by Swissboy : Friday 9th November 2018 at 16:32.
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Old Yesterday, 11:15   #24
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I had a look at the sample pages and I like it. The overall layout with species accounts, plates and maps looks well balanced. I really like the initial info on distribution, that is definitely added value to existing guides. And Vietnamese bird names, excellent.

Interesting way to deal with potential splits/subspecies. I'm not so deep into taxonomic discussions, but looks like a useful and pragmatic way to me.

As for ID section, I would wish for more comparative info, highlighting the differences to similar species. Not sure if this lack of comparison is due to the sample pages (apart from the Needletails, there are no really confusable species) or the general way of the book.

But the focus on Vietnam, the distribution info and maps alone will make it worthwhile to buy.
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