Simply Birding • Best field guide for Uk?
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Best field guide for Uk?

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:24 am
by 4adiva
We're going to be visiting Wales, Devon & Cornwall this summer and we need to pick up a field guide. (We're not from the UK.)

Any suggestions on the most practical guide for this area?

My son has his eye set on the Princeton Field Guide "Birds of Europe" but I'm concerned this will be too large and have too much coverage for our very specific area. Also, is this illustrated with photos? I prefer guides with drawings/paintings rather than photos.

Anyone recommend the "RSPB Handbook of British Birds" (Holden/Cleeves)?


Re: Best field guide for Uk?

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:24 am
by gordon
You could also have a look at the Collins Birds of Britain & Europe

Re: Best field guide for Uk?

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:57 pm
by nkgray
Gordon's suggestion is certainly one of the best one for Britain and Europe. This is "Collins Bird Guide 2nd Edition - the most complete guide to the birds of Britain and Europe" [ISBN 978-0-00-726814-6].

However if you want a field guide just for the UK I would recommend a photographic guide rather than the RSPB handbook which has hand-drawn plates. For me the best is "Collins Complete Guide to British Birds" by Paul Sterry [ISBN 978-0-00-723686-2], published obviously by Collins. If you want the expense of just one book for the area that you will be in this would be the one to go for.

I actually use all three in conjunction as they each bring different aspects to the fore. For instance, the Collins guide on British birds adds a bar chart showing presence/abundance by month in addition to a distribution map. The Collins guide and the RSPB handbook when used together give a much fuller description of each species. If you really want to see juvenile/male/female winter/summer plumage variations then you will need the Collins European birds book.


Re: Best field guide for Uk?

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:06 am
by josephfranklin166
There are many guide, It depends upon your current knowledge.

Re: Best field guide for Uk?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:10 am
by marrie
I love the first guide, Birds of Europe. It' a legendary book in my opinion.