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Collins Complete British Birds - Photoguide

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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 18:57   #1
mcdowella
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Collins Complete British Birds - Photoguide

Noticed this at my local bookshop. It's paperback size, with a clear plastic jacket, and costs £14.99. You get one decent-sized colour photograph of every British Species, with usually 1-3 small inset pictures showing different plumages, and half a page of text. At the very least, it gives you a second opinion to your usual guide without confusing you with species you won't see here - I quite like it, but I'm no expert.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 19:27   #2
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I've not seen this myself, but I do have a couple of photoguides, and I like them.

I've seen it written that a photograph often gives you a poor representation of a bird, and I understand why, but conversely it also gives you a bit of an idea what you might see in the flesh, so to speak, rather than with all the salient id markers highlighted.

I don't think it is possible to have too many (good) guidebooks.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 19:50   #3
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I prefer illustrations for most birds, but many times I need a photo too, especially hawks and bigger birds. I guess nobody thought of providing a guide with photos and illustrations, one each.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 20:49   #4
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The RSPB guide has photos + illustrations, I think.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 21:00   #5
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perverse as it may seem, i'm not a fan of photoguides (bang goes any future deals!)...but I can see why they appeal to many people. This Collins book sounds like it could be pretty good if it shows varying plumages. I have one particularly gruesome one by Kaufman of birds of north america ....the birds have been cut out from the background (possibly pre-photoshop!) and stuck on the pages.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 21:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bright
perverse as it may seem, i'm not a fan of photoguides (bang goes any future deals!)...but I can see why they appeal to many people. This Collins book sounds like it could be pretty good if it shows varying plumages. I have one particularly gruesome one by Kaufman of birds of north america ....the birds have been cut out from the background (possibly pre-photoshop!) and stuck on the pages.
Was reviewed in this months Birdwatching if memory serves.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2004, 22:19   #7
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Our Gordon Hamlett gave it a bit of a slating in the this months Birdwatching magazine, but I have yet to see it myself. Personally I like photoguides as an alternative ID book, but they don't compare with the likes of the the Collins Birdguide whne it comes down to trying to make an ID.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 08:01   #8
gordon hamlett
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Quote:
Our Gordon Hamlett gave it a bit of a slating in the this months Birdwatching magazine,
Sort of. I said it was the best photo guide currently available by a considerable distance - and if that's your thing, then buy it as such.

I also said that it can't compete with any of the top traditional, illustrated field guides. For example, I've just been taking my beginners' group out, trying to get to grips with warblers and I just don't find the photos particularly helpful so you are forced to ID using the text alone - never a great idea.

Whereas an artist can ensure uniformity of colour tone etc, this just isn't possible using photos so all those wonderful phrases such as buffish grey or greyish buff become meaningless <grin>

There just isn't enough space with photos to show all the salient ID points - you often need half a dozen or more illustrations per species. Here, there are additional thumbnails, but they are so small as to be useless in the field.

It makes a useful secondary ID source but I would never use it as a primary reference. No thanks, I'll stick to the other Collins.

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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 22:31   #9
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Has anyone seen the photoguide on british butterflies by Still and someone...........sorry the name escapes me and I can't be a**ed to go and check it. Anyway really nice digital montages of images and the food plants. Very good and shows what a future birds photoguide could be like. I agree with the others at present - sticking to Collins and Jonsson painted guides.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2004, 22:33   #10
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OK - shouldn't be so lazy. Britain's Butterflies by David Tomlinson and Rob Still.
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