A selection of this month’s latest releases
Latest birding books
THE BIRDWATCHER’S YEARBOOK CALLUNA BOOKS £20
This is a difficult book to review. Not because there’s anything wrong with it – there really is very little to quibble with – but because each successive edition basically reproduces the winning formula from the year before. But, assuming you’ve not come across it before, it contains full checklists for British birds, dragonflies and butterflies, a birding diary with monthly bird note sections, a quick reference section, an updated guide to 370 British nature reserves, a birding events
diary for 2019, tide table information, and directories of county and national birding groups, photographers, lecturers, artists and more. That makes it a hugely useful book on a practical level, well worth keeping in your birding rucksack or your car’s glove-box at all times. But there’s also much to enjoy in
the special features. There’s a good news round-up, and as always Bird Watching’s own Gordon Hamlett provides his selection of the best bird books of the year. In addition, the articles on the Rutland Osprey Project, Watchtree Nature Reserve, and the use of Hookpods to reduce seabird deaths are informative and interesting reading during quiet moments in the hide. So, as essential as ever. And maybe it wasn’t so hard to review after all.
FIELD GUIDE TO THE LADYBIRDS OF GREAT BRITAIN HELEN ROY & PETER BROWN BLOOMSBURY £25
If you’re only just getting into bug-watching, then this book is a must, because like me you’ll probably immediately start marvelling at just how many ladybird
species there are out there – 47, to be exact. If you already have familiarity with the subject, it’s still a must, because the excellence of Richard Lewington’s artwork and the photographs matches the authoritative text, making it a near-perfect field guide. Buy it, and you’ll have no excuse for not identifying every ladybird you see.
A TABLOID HISTORY OF BIRDWATCHING PAUL THOMAS PAULTHOMASCARTOONS.CO.UK £12.99 PLUS P&P
The text is a little bit hit or miss at times, but that really doesn’t matter too much as the cartoons are what matters, and they take an irreverent look at birding through the ages. One to remind you that birdwatching is always there to be enjoyed, alongside all the good that it can do.