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Flight Identification of European Passerines and Select Landbirds, an Illustrated and Photographic Guide authored by Tomasz Cofta. (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
QR codes again, it's not a book for beginers it seems so most of those aquiring this title, will almost certainly have plenty of ways to listen to vocalisations and I just don't think it neccessary to include this facility in a book. This is just my personal preference and I really hope that this doesn't catch on more widely but it does seem to be fashionable right now.

I'm really struggling to see the usefulness of this book in real, practical terms, and what it's advantages over a good, field guide are? With respect to the reviewer, I await comments from a wider audience before I buy this one.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Thanks for the review Phil. NHBS have this on offer (I think) at the moment. Been toying with purchasing it.

Rich
 

Mark Newsome

Born to seawatch...
Interesting that sonograms are included. As someone with a keen interest in nocmig, this could be a very useful feature, esp if these are included for the majority of species covered (philip1947 - could you confirm this?). There are no English language guides extensively covering nocturnal flight calls so this bit is ground-breaking (but I also acknowledge that NFCs can be quite different to diurnal calls, so someone still needs to publish this one!)

Mark
 

philip1947

Active member
Interesting that sonograms are included. As someone with a keen interest in nocmig, this could be a very useful feature, esp if these are included for the majority of species covered (philip1947 - could you confirm this?). There are no English language guides extensively covering nocturnal flight calls so this bit is ground-breaking (but I also acknowledge that NFCs can be quite different to diurnal calls, so someone still needs to publish this one!)

Mark
Mark. I would estimate 80%+ sonograms without checking each of the pages 42 to 484! The sonograms do vary in size, some across the page others less so.
 

RafaelMatias

Unknown member
Portugal
Is there a Northern European bias in this book? I was taking a look at the thrushes pages in the above post and despite all Siberian vagrants are illustrated there is no sign of either Blue Rock Trush or Common Rock Thrush.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
I'm really struggling to see the usefulness of this book in real, practical terms, and what it's advantages over a good, field guide are? With respect to the reviewer, I await comments from a wider audience before I buy this one.
Surprised you're waiting on this one Andy, given what a book afficianardo you are. Admit, it is quite a different subject but maybe filling a space for the increasing vizmig enthusiasts.
 

jurek

Well-known member
I am looking forward to get this book as soon as it becomes available. Especially that I met Tomasz privately and was impressed in his skills of IDing birds on the smallest details of their jizz.

I think it can become a game-changer, and may even start a habit of photographing any small bird flying overhead in hope to ID it, and finding something rare. Naturally, the biggest benefit will be that people will be more certain to ID common songbirds flying overhead. But lots of scarcer and rare birds will be discovered in process.
 

peter.jones

Former supporter. No longer active.
Supporter
The cover pics put me off.. I've never regularly watched birds fly underneath me (or upside down above me).

Plus, flight identification is all about calls, and motion. A book is going to struggle on both those fronts.

Like the idea above of using it to analyse photos though. It will be interesting to see how many people make positive i.d's based solely on this book.
 
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MJB

Well-known member
I am looking forward to get this book as soon as it becomes available. Especially that I met Tomasz privately and was impressed in his skills of IDing birds on the smallest details of their jizz.

I think it can become a game-changer, and may even start a habit of photographing any small bird flying overhead in hope to ID it, and finding something rare. Naturally, the biggest benefit will be that people will be more certain to ID common songbirds flying overhead. But lots of scarcer and rare birds will be discovered in process.
I hugely admire his artwork.
MJB
 

Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
Looks good, thanks for the review. Already ordered and saw release date was pushed back to May 11th but the review states February 21st? Weird if there are review copies already being sent out but we have to wait another four months for it... Can't wait! :)
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
and may even start a habit of photographing any small bird flying overhead in hope to ID it,

Something I already try to do (not always easy to get a useable photo, though even a blurry flight shot will sometimes show positions of markings that turn out to be useful) - posted a few below, though I did also buy a digital recorder last Autumn to catch flight calls. A combination of both got me an unexpected patch tick in the shape of a Hawfinch in early October, and I've added another Hawfinch & a Yellow Wagtail in the past elsewhere from taking flight photos as well as a Brambling flock in a local park. I'm looking forward to this book despite others' reservations about it, as it should save me time trying to ID problematic birds I've seen in flight - and having the sonagrams on the same page will save me time having to search elsewhere.
 

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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Looks good, thanks for the review. Already ordered and saw release date was pushed back to May 11th but the review states February 21st? Weird if there are review copies already being sent out but we have to wait another four months for it... Can't wait! :)
Release date I've seen is Feb 17th, where did you see that it's delayed?
 

CerambyX

Well-known member
Latvia
Is there a Northern European bias in this book? I was taking a look at the thrushes pages in the above post and despite all Siberian vagrants are illustrated there is no sign of either Blue Rock Trush or Common Rock Thrush.

It looks like it's just a comparison page on Turdus species. Judging by index in link above (EDIT: now the post with link appears to be below - #21) Monticola-s are also included in the book. The species list looks quite impressive and seems to cover whole Europe quite nicely including south (all the buntings, larks etc.).
 
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RafaelMatias

Unknown member
Portugal
It looks like it's just a comparison page on Turdus species. Judging by index in link above (post #18) Monticola-s are also included in the book. The species list looks quite impressive and seems to cover whole Europe quite nicely including south (all the buntings, larks etc.).
Thanks, I was about to post something similar! I'd have added the 2 Monticolas in the general Turdus comparison plate though. I understand it would have been slightly more crowded, but perhaps it would have been more useful to have those 2 regular species together with the other (especially BRThrush) than some of the more extreme vagrants (but perhaps I'm having a Southern European bias here ;) ).
Impressive list of species indeed, and a very interesting book.
 

RafaelMatias

Unknown member
Portugal
The cover pics put me off.. I've never regularly watched birds fly underneath me (or upside down above me).

Plus, flight identification is all about calls, and motion. A book is going to struggle on both those fronts.

Like the idea above of using it to analyse photos though. It will be interesting to see how many people make positive i.d's based solely on this book.
I think the idea with those is to have perfect reference images, with no perspective influence at all. Exactly in the same way butterfly illustrations are laid out on field guides. Those complement the real life poses in the facing plates (photo composite), where the shape is then distorted by perspective (the illustrations will then help you to understand better what you're seeing in the photos).
 

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