by Vicky Woodgate, Big Pic­ture Press, £14.99

Bird Watching (UK) - - Part One Gear -

The bold, colour­ful il­lus­tra­tions might make you think that this is a book aimed squarely at chil­dren (and many did in­deed queue up to get their copies signed by the au­thor at Bird­fair), but the in­for­ma­tion-packed and ac­ces­si­ble text means that there’s plenty there to in­ter­est bird­ers of all ages and abil­i­ties. It cov­ers 75 species from all over the globe, well cho­sen to rep­re­sent both the sheer va­ri­ety of avian life, and or­gan­ised by con­ti­nent. Woodgate’s ex­cel­lent art­work brings to life many of my favourite species, such as Hoatzin, Eclec­tus Par­rot and Shoe­bill, but you'll all have your own pref­er­ences among the birds cho­sen. It will cer­tainly pique the cu­rios­ity of any young­ster who takes the time to browse through it (so makes a per­fect Christ­mas present), but it’s a thing of beauty that any bird­watcher would love to own.

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