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Opinion on good African bird guide needed.

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Old Sunday 16th October 2005, 05:09   #1
Progne Subis
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Opinion on good African bird guide needed.

Hi everyone,

I've been seaching the market lately for a good, complete field guide to African birds, but I've found nothing promising. So I was hoping someone could suggest a few book titles. Oh, and while I'm on the subject, know any nice guides for Australia? Thanks!!
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Old Sunday 16th October 2005, 08:36   #2
david kelly
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"Birds of Africa south of the Sahara" by Peter Ryan and Ian Sinclair

Is the only full Afro-tropical field guide, I also own "The Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania" Zimmerman; "Birds of Gambia and Senegal" Barlow, "Birds of Western Africa" Borrow & Demey, "Birds of Southern Africa"Sinclair, Hockey & Tarbolton (2 editions). If you are travelling to Africa then I would suggest you pick up the regional guide.

Try www.nhbs.com

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Old Sunday 16th October 2005, 13:06   #3
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I'll second David on those guides for Africa.An Australian guide you could look at is Birds of Australia by Ken Simpson & Nicolas Day(Princeton Field Guides).
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Old Sunday 16th October 2005, 16:20   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david kelly
"Birds of Africa south of the Sahara" by Peter Ryan and Ian Sinclair

Is the only full Afro-tropical field guide, I also own "The Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania" Zimmerman; "Birds of Gambia and Senegal" Barlow, "Birds of Western Africa" Borrow & Demey, "Birds of Southern Africa"Sinclair, Hockey & Tarbolton (2 editions). If you are travelling to Africa then I would suggest you pick up the regional guide. David
The one that is missing on this list is "FG to the Birds of East Africa" by Stevenson and Fanshawe. It is, in my opinion, one of the most outstanding fieldguide books of the world.

As for Australia: use the search function on this forum. There have been extensive discussions.
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Old Sunday 16th October 2005, 20:53   #5
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Well, thanks very much everyone, all great recommendations. Now I'll do a bit of research on them to narrow down the possibilities. So, appreciate the help. Cheers.
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Old Sunday 16th October 2005, 20:57   #6
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For southern Africa, there are several good guides but the Sinclair (Sasol) guide is (in my opinion) the best one.
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2005, 03:11   #7
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For S.Africa the New Robert's Birds of Southern Africa is out.
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2005, 10:16   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bruce
For S.Africa the New Robert's Birds of Southern Africa is out.
Any comments on this new edition?
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2005, 17:55   #9
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the above-mentioned guide to east africa by stevenson, fanshawe is my favorite foreign field guide. the illustrations are beautiful, which descriptions and distribution maps set facing the plates. i also own the Zimmerman Kenya & N. Tanzania guide...which is nice, too. The Sasol Guide and Newman's guide to S. African birds are both decent...but i'd like to see on of the photographic guides to S. African birds.
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2005, 19:47   #10
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I have the latest Newman's Birds of Southern Africa, which I find is excellent.

Talking about photographic guides there is one called " PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE BIRDS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA" by Ian Sinclaire, but I haven't seen it so I am not sure if it's any good. Judging by the details I have seen about it is not very comprehensive and only covers 256 rather common birds.
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2005, 20:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taryn
Talking about photographic guides there is one called " PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE BIRDS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA" by Ian Sinclaire, but I haven't seen it so I am not sure if it's any good. Judging by the details I have seen about it is not very comprehensive and only covers 256 rather common birds.
It is 'nice' rather than really useful I would say, could be used as a supplement to either Newman or Sasol, but not (in my opinion) as a replacement. Newman okay, but prefer Sasol (but not seen new edition of Newman)
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 01:22   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taryn
Talking about photographic guides there is one called " PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE BIRDS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA" by Ian Sinclaire, but I haven't seen it so I am not sure if it's any good. Judging by the details I have seen about it is not very comprehensive and only covers 256 rather common birds.
There are two books.The one you mention is the "pocket"guide.Sinclair has done a complete photographic guide to Southern Africa called,"Field Guide,Birds of Southern Africa."(ISBN:1868255107 /Struik 1999)
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 11:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david kelly
"Birds of Africa south of the Sahara" by Peter Ryan and Ian Sinclair

Is the only full Afro-tropical field guide.
It is useful as a reference book but too heavy yet not detailed enough for use as field guide. You really do need the regional guides.
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