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WildGuides Britain's Birds and British Birds a Pocket Guide compared (1 Viewer)

Nicola Main

Well-known member
Britain's Birds by Rob Hume, Robert Still, Andy Swash, Hugh Harrop and David Tipling has been out since 2016 and has proved itself to be an invaluable guide to many birders with an excellent layout and packed full of gorgeous photos (yes it's a photo guide I know many of you prefer illustrations!). However, for those birders who don't like to carry such a weighty tome around on their travels, a smaller more portable pocket version has just been released from Princeton. This is what I'll be reviewing here along with its bigger brother to compare.

First of all, like any good old field guide, the measurements! The length is 18cm, width 12cm and depth is 1.8cm. Out of curiosity the bigger book is 21cm, 15.5cm and 3.8cm respectively. First photo shows it with the bigger Britain's Birds then a solo photo. Foreword, Introduction etc are followed by how to use this book, knowing the parts of a bird (pictured), and then there is a handy section on getting to the right group of birds which has pages of silhouettes matched up to photos giving you reference to the species pages. There is also a lovely little section on habitats.

Fourth and fifth photos show the Swan pages for each book. There's so much information crammed into its pages its perfect for beginners or more experienced alike. It has all the key ID pointers you would need, small descriptions, distribution maps and also, something that's missing from the bigger guide is a box on diet/eating. It's not something necessary in a field guide but it's nice to have it there. Family introduction pages are there too as well as comparing plates like the other book e.g. Ducks in flight, Gulls compared, warblers arranged as Sylvia, wetland and Phylloscopus.

I really do think highly of this book and it's a perfect pocket guide! Better than the RSPB one! NHBS are selling it for £7.99 or Amazon has it for £9.99 I believe. Excellent value for money! I would still say get both books. The bigger one for use at home or more research into species after a trip or outing. The pocket version for beginners and for in the car or bag. It's so portable and light you might get away with fitting it in one of those large anorak or coat type pockets but definitely in a small bag. 248 birds are given coverage along with 45 scarce migrants or vagrants treated at the back. If anyone would like to see more photos (can only upload five photos to a post) then feel free to pm me :) Happy birding!
 

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Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Bought a copy of the new book and do like it though I'm unlikely to use it much, and certainly won't be carrying it around with me. Ideally I'd like to see the rarer birds not featured in the new book in a similar sized fieldguide as that is a book I'd be likely to carry with me, just in case I was fortunate to find something that bit less common. There is a French language book "Tous Les Oiseaux Rares D'Europe" which is a similar size to the original book but which does cover the species I'd like to see in a pocket guide size.
 

Robert Wallace

Well-known member
I have a copy of this pocket guide because it fits in my pocket. It bucks the trend for bigger field guides. Good value for money at the rrp even better with discount (see whsmith online). I previously relied on "Pocket Guide to the Birds of Britain and North West Europe" by Chris Kightley and Steve Madge as a reliable pocket guide. Both fitted in the pocket which is a big plus.
 

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