What do you think about this book?
I haven't read any complete review yet.
What do you think about this book?
I haven't read any complete review yet.
I think it is brilliant, but I would say that
A brief review here http://birdbookerreport.blogspot.com...-title_12.html
Below is a better version of the plate used by Paul
Last edited by Brian S; January 6th, 2011 at 08:13 AM.
It IS brilliant, Brian! My only criticism is that I was thrown a bit at first on those occasions when the right hand page launches into a description of a new species but the facing page is a full plate of photos of the previous species, e.g. p198-199 (right hand page = description of Long-tailed Bush Warbler, left hand page a plate of Taiwan Bush Warbler, without this being indicated anywhere in the captions). This happens a fair bit (p 218-219, p. 224-225 and so on) and is a pitfall for the hard of thinking, like me.
A minor criticism of a real tour de force, and now I feel really petty! The text is astonishingly detailed and authoritative, the photographs well chosen and instructive and the plates, of course, amazing.
I haven't seen it yet but from the looks of it, it should be first rate.
Given the skulking but vocal nature of many bush warblers, a dedicated website (or CD, or MP3 download package) with calls and songs of as many of the more difficult species as possible species would be a useful addition, if it didn't stretch the budget to far. I see that sonograms are included anyway, which will be a huge assistance. There are, of course, many of the songs and calls of those species on xeno-canto Asia etc from which you can compile your own selection for use in the field.
We are working on a complementary website with links to new taxonomic thinking, extra images, plus links to recordings for each species. We had hoped to put a CD with the book, but costing (and time) got in the way.
Not sure when it will be up and running, but I will ask Peter and find out.
Thanks for all of your posts.
Brian, it's not a real surprise you answered my question but anyway it's interesting to read all your opinions.
A review of the book appears here - http://www.manchesterbirding.com/ree...lersreview.htm
I haven't paid Ian, but thank him for his kind and generous comments about the book and my artwork.
I recently got from Brian S one of the original plates as a most welcome and gorgeous present (I invite all you to buy one !! they are simply orgasmic )
I must say I was totally disappointed and in shock to see how much nicer, better and more realistic are the original plates and how low has been the printing and the quality of the reproduction by A&C Black... (as is too often the case!!)...
the colours in the original plates are just as in the field for the various species, while in the printed version they ALL appear too reddish or rusty, too dark and messed up!!!
Shame that such a long work and such masterpiec of artworks should end like this.
However, the book is kind of a BIBBIA SACRA for any warblers-lovers like I'm too and the book is since I got it (in mid April) on my bed side for night reading (that do not means I use it to sleep but to inspire my dreamings
Last edited by macrourus; September 2nd, 2011 at 01:10 PM.
Here's another very positive review from June's Ibis. Printing issues may be restricted to certain copies as this one doesn't even mention it.
KENNERLEY, P. & PEARSON, D. Reed and Bush Warblers. (Helm Identiﬁcation Guides.) 712 pages, numerous colour photographs and maps, 42 colour plates, 125 black-and-white ﬁgures, sonograms, tables, 7 appendices. London: Christopher Helm, 2010. Hardback, £65.00, ISBN 978-0-7136-6022-7.
This present work is the latest and, in my opinion, the best publication in the well-known series of Helm Identiﬁcation Guides. It is a true monograph on the new taxonomic families Cettidae, Locustellidae and Acrocephalidae, after the recent break-up of the classic Sylviidae according to the latest taxonomic views (see Sangster et al. (2010) Taxonomic recommendations for British birds: Sixth report. Ibis 152: 180–186). Separate chapters include a general introduction, taxonomy, moult strategies, migration and a special chapter on phylogenetic relationships as revealed by molecular analyses. This section gives an overview of the use of modern molecular techniques and their limitations and interpretations. For me, it is one of the most instructive parts of the book. There is also a chapter on origins, distribution and extinction of Acrocephalus spp. in the Paciﬁc Ocean. No fewer than eight endemic species are found on the southeast Polynesian Islands, those furthest from the Asian and Australian mainland. These endemics are also highly diverse; some species are grey and white and the bizarre Tahiti Warbler Acrocephalus caffer has an enormous bill and a completely dark morph! It is presently found on one island only, three other races being extinct on neighbouring islands.
There are very detailed accounts of 112 species, well supported by a most impressive array of photographs, colour plates, distribution maps and (for most species) sonograms. Among the many high-quality colour photographs, several are of species for which images have never been published before. All the colour plates were painted by Brian Small and are excellent. Bradypterus and Cettia are among the most difﬁcult groups to illustrate, but they have not been pictured as well as this before. The emphasis on vocalizations is most important in the groups of birds covered, which are often difﬁcult to locate and observe in the ﬁeld if they remain silent. Their sounds also play a key role in clarifying species limits and afﬁnities. Detailed in-hand characters, including wing formulae and measurements, are given and are very useful for ringers.
The main text holds an astonishing wealth of information. I did not know before that the winter range of the Long-billed Bush Warbler Bradypterus major remains completely unknown. Nor did I realize that the breeding range of Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola, probably the rarest migratory passerine in Europe, is much smaller and more fragmented than suggested by most other works. Among the really rare species are Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis with probably under 500 birds, and the Millerbird Acrocephalus familiaris, which is extinct in Hawaii except for the island of Nihoa, where fewer than 200 birds are found. I was struck by the unusual history of the Aldabra Brush Warbler Nesillas aldabranus, last seen in 1983 and conﬁrmed as extinct in 1986: in 1974–75, just ﬁve individuals were found and the suggestion, by extrapolation, was a population of about 25 birds in a 9-km strip of coastal scrub.
However, it is possible to ﬁnd some omissions. Although I had sound-recorded harsh calls of the Luzon Bush Warbler Cettia seebohmi daily in 1985, these calls are not found in the vocal descriptions under this species account. Why the genera Megalurus, Chaetornis, Schoenicola and Graminicola are excluded is not entirely clear, except for being of uncertain afﬁnities. It is unlikely that these genera will be included in future monographs, and therefore they could have been added here, probably with little extra effort. The only other criticism I would make is the diminutive size of the sonograms. Very interesting appendices include: measurements from specimens, wing-length of Palaearctic migrant species, migration and moult strategies, comparative ﬁeld characters, recent developments in 2010, likely future taxonomic revisions, latest discoveries and possible species new to science, and an exhaustive bibliography. One of the newest discoveries, the Timor Bush Warbler Bradypterus timorensis, was formerly known from two collected specimens only, but was rediscovered on Timor (and on Alor for the ﬁrst time) in 2009. The enigmatic Large-billed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orinus was only recently discovered breeding in the mountains of northeast Afghanistan and southeast Tajikistan (Central Asia). The most difﬁcult of the warbler groups, in terms of both taxonomy and identiﬁcation, deserves a detailed work like this. Kennerley and Pearson are real experts on these warblers and have succeeded in making it the deﬁnitive publication for at least many years to come.