Flight Identification of European Passerines And Select Land Birds A Review

Lapland Bunting not a very tricky ID on the ground but could you pick one out coming in off the sea?

This is a really ground breaking book looking at how to identify smaller flying birds, we have become familiar with books covering raptors and gulls but to tackle passerines is a huge leap!

Opening up new frontiers in birding, this is the first field guide for identifying European passerines in flight, featuring more than 1,850 stunning colour illustrations from acclaimed bird artist Tomasz Cofta, who creates remarkably lifelike images using the latest digital technology. With detailed coverage of 206 passerines and 32 near-passerine land birds, this cutting-edge book features a seamlessly integrated approach. It combines Cofta's precise illustrations, which depict key shape and colouration features, with a range of photos for each species that show how they appear in flight. The species accounts are short, sharp, and authoritative, and essential information on individual flight manner and flock structure and behaviour are represented concisely. In addition, flight calls are transliterated, briefly described, shown as sonograms, and backed up with a unique collection of more than a hundred online audio recordings, that can accessed by QR code. While Flight Identification of European Passerines and Select Landbirds is written in a style that will appeal to all birders, it also contains new knowledge on flight identification, making it a must-have for professional ornithologists and scientists as well.

This is a large book at 15.6 x 23.5 cm at bit big to carry into the field for most birders.

So is this book going to be useful for the average birder? I guess it depends on what kind of birding you like to do, if like me you like to have a go at identifying every bird you see then the answer is yes! How many times have I stood on the Great Orme in North Wales on an October morning and seen a “small” bird fly silently overhead and a then disappears into the far distance leaving me thinking “hmm wonder what that was?” Of course this book won’t supply all the answers to every fly over bird but if it can help reduce the number of “hmm wonder what that was?” moments has to be worth having on the bookshelf.

Another group of birders that will find this book an essential reference are the growing band of people that now carry a camera along with their binoculars. If you are fast, given modern lens design, it is possible to take pretty good pictures of small birds flying over. And here might actually be where this book really comes into its own, even with the best memory and note taking skills trying to capture details of a small bird whizzing past is tricky. But given a half decent photo and maybe that vital detail will be visible back home on the screen and that “hmm wonder what that was?” becomes oh wow lifer!

It is certainly an amazing work the author has achieved here pulling together so many photographs and super illustrations of flying birds no mean feat. It is a pleasure to sit and look through this book and dream of being capable of identifying all those images if they were flying over you. Roll on migration time and the chance to really put this book to the test! Certainly well worth investing in a copy and you can order yours from Wild Sounds via this link…



The first field guide to flight identification of European passerines

Covers 206 passerines and 32 near-passerine land birds

Features more than 830 colour illustrations

Includes a range of photos showing each species in flight

Provides extensive information on flight calls.

ISBN: -13 978-0-691-17757-1

Published (US): May 11, 2021

Published (UK): Feb 17, 2021

Copyright: 2021

Pages: 496

Size: 6.13 x 9.25 in.

Illustrations: 850 colour illustrations, 219 black and white illustrations, 2488 colour

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