Friday, October 25, 2019

British Birds: A Pocket Guide - Review

Back in 2016 I reviewed the WILDGuides Britain's Birds: An Identification Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland, at the time a new and entirely photographic guide to the birds of the UK. It received lots of plaudits and congratulatory reviews, including my own, and went on to become a best seller. Britains Birds Book Review.

At the time I made reference to the book’s bulk and weight as I considered that the proportions could result in the book being used as a reference book rather than a field guide. “….. Measures 6” by 8” and contains 3,300 colour photos within its 560 pages …. here was a hefty piece of work. It tipped the scales at 1200 grams, making it a candidate for inclusion in a large rucksack” 

That has all changed with the publication of the new WILDGuides British Birds: A Pocket Guide which as its title claims, is a field guide for the pocket rather than a rucksack. 

By the same authors, this is a slimmed down version of the original of 2016 now shrunk to a more manageable and user friendly 7” x 5 “. This mini version weighs in at a highly portable 400gms (14ozs). 

Whereas the original book covered all those species that have occurred in the UK (600 species) this latest book covers only the most regularly occurring species, 248 in all, plus 45 scarcer species. Amazingly, the new book still manages to include over 1,600 photos, all of which are of a very high quality indeed and where the reduction in size has not resulted in any lessening of definition. I did not check each photo against the earlier version but as you might expect, many if not most are replicas from the bigger volume.

The now condensed text is concise but thorough enough to help with identification. A Pocket Guide is well though out and structured to assist the reader.  The authors continue the essence of the first book and pack a huge amount of information in the pages without it being cluttered or overwhelming. 

By forfeiting the inclusion of the very rare species but including regular scarcities the authors have chosen their target audience well. 

This is a book that will appeal to beginners and to those with a modicum of interest in identifying birds who want to take their burgeoning awareness that little further. 

Priced at £9.99, this is another one of the top quality bargain books we have come to expect from Princeton's WILDGuides series. With Christmas around the corner this little book would make  a pleasing little gift for child or adult alike. 

Linking today to


Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Good that they took on your comment about the previous book Phil. Yes this one looks more managable. I hope you have a great weekend.

eileeninmd said...


I would be happy with the pocket guide, just the right size to take on a birding outing. The book would make a great Christmas present. Great review.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, wishing you happy weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This really is a great book! I appreciate the review! Enjoy your weekend!

judee said...

Such a useful book . Thanks for bringing my attention to it and the review.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

If I ever make it to the UK, I'd definitely want the field guide. Good review!

Wally Jones said...

Another excellent book review by Another Bird Blog!

I've referred the guide to a friend who is contemplating an extended visit to Britain. It looks to be a perfect fit for his needs.

Hope all is well for you Phil. A new week is here already.

NCSue said...

Not sure when or if I'll be able to cross the pond, but this would be an invaluable resource!
Thanks for sharing at

Fun60 said...

That sounds like the perfect field guide for someone like myself.

Lowcarb team member said...

Sounds excellent Phil, many thanks for sharing your thoughts about this book.

All the best Jan

Lady Fi said...

Sounds perfect!

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