Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Book Review: A Photographic Guide to Birds of China including Hong Kong

I recently completed a book review for the Surfbirds forum on the recent publication 'A Photographic Guide to Birds of China including Hong Kong'. An introduction and summary is provided below but see here for the details in the full article.

The Birds of China including Hong Kong (John Mackinnon & Nigel Hicks (2011) New Holland Publishers) is a fully updated edition of the book previously published in 1996 and 2007. The publishers state that the target audience comprises experienced birdwatchers, beginners and tourists with a casual interest in birds of the region. The book is filled with a wealth of useful information considering its size and retail price (RRP £7.99) and contains many excellent and eye catching photographs of a range of species including Silver Pheasant, Collared Scops-Owl, Long-tailed Broadbill, White-browed Shortwing and Orange-headed Thrush to name but a few.

The book consists of the following chapters: introduction, how to use this book, parts of a bird, glossary, China’s avifauna, key to corner tabs, bird habitats of China, administrative units of China, how to watch birds, where to find birds in China, species descriptions, further reading and index.

My overall opinion of this book is that it will be of little/moderate interest to the serious birder visiting the country but that it will form an important aid to the beginner and casual tourist due to its eye-catching design, lightweight, small and portable size, cheap price and generally good photographs and I think with a few minor tweaks this book could be made into a really useful book for a range of visiting birdwatchers.

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