THE COMPLETE GARDEN BIRD BOOK
Mark Golley with Stephen Moss, illustrated by David Daly Bloomsbury, SB, £10.99, BW Bookshop price £9.99 (quote BW116)
As a compact, accessible field guide to the 70 species you’re most likely to see in your garden, this is excellent – each species gets a two-page spread, well illustrated in full colour with a variety of poses and plumages. The text is concise and to the point, too, with everything you need for identification purposes, as well as information on behaviour and habitat. If I have a complaint, though, it’s that the front section could go into a lot more detail on creating a bird-friendly garden, and providing food and nest sites, to justify that ‘Complete Garden Bird Book’ title. What there is is good, but you get the feeling that you really need another book if you want to go into these subjects in any detail. In particular, planting for wildlife could be explored more thoroughly. But the chart that shows you when to expect each species in your garden, and which are most abundant, is handy and should help beginners narrow down IDS, so this is a valuable resource for anyone just getting started as a garden birder.