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Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:15 am

Hi all, I'm not sure if you've heard but Struik are releasing a new edition of their field guide.
I've pre-ordered mine. It looks like it will be released on 11 October.
Have a look here.
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby Johann » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:33 am

From the link Josh provided I found:
...This fourth edition has been greatly improved by the addition of group introductions, calendar bars showing species’ occurrence and breeding periods, a section on ‘how to use this book’, as well as sonograms depicting the calls of tricky bird groups.

The newly designed plates are meticulously illustrated, with labels pinpointing key differentiating features. Distribution maps show the relative abundance of a species in the region and also indicate resident or migrant status...

and from another:
* thoroughly reworked an revised text
* vastly improved, streamlined layout
* revamped maps reflect resident/migrant status
* new artwork for more than 300 species
* new bird-group summaries
* sonograms depict the calls of tricky bird groups
* redesigned plates for ease of use and comparison
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby DuQues » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:54 am

calendar bars showing species

That could indeed be a very helpful feature! It was in the text already, but still, it could help quick ID a lot.
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:27 pm

Yup, though it depends on how they've done it. Roberts VII has calendar bars but I struggle to understand them properly. Same with the Roberts map shading.
Sonographs should be interesting
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby DuQues » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:27 am

:hmz: I left it too late, pre-ordering is not possible anymore. But that solves my logistic problem. ;)
Here is some more information:

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa remains the region's most comprehensively illustrated and trusted field guide. This fourth edition has been greatly improved by the addition of group introductions and thoroughly revised text, calendar bars showing species' occurrence and breeding periods, a section on ‘how to use this book', as well as sonograms depicting the calls of tricky bird groups. The newly designed plates are meticulously illustrated, with labels pinpointing key differentiating features. Distribution maps show the relative abundance of a species in the region and also indicate resident or migrant status. Written by a team of highly respected authorities, this comprehensive identification guide will be invaluable to all birders, aspirant and experienced.

In a nutshell

Comprehensively revised and reworked text
Streamlined, newly designed plates for ease of use and comparison
More than 380 new improved illustrations
Updated distribution maps showing relative abundance and resident/migrant status
Calendar bars showing occurrence and breeding months
Sonograms depicting the calls of some of the trickier-to-identify species


Available in softcover and PVC editions
Sasol Birds

English edition ISBNs: 978 1 77007 925 0 (softcover) | 978 1 77007 927 4 (PVC)
Afrikaans edition ISBNs: 978 1 77007 926 7(softcover) | 978 1 77007 928 1 (PVC)

Recommended retail price: R240.00 (softcover) and R260.00 (PVC)
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:47 pm

I paged through the new edition at a book shop this weekend. I'm not too fond of the new illustrations. There seem to be much fewer annotations than there were in the 3rd ed. which was something I liked (especially over the older Newman's). The quick family illustrations on the front cover are now tabulated, very similar to Roberts VIII. They've also completely done away with the quick family illustrations on the inside back cover (another favourite feature), in favour of an alphabetical family quick reference (will reserve judgement til I've tried this in the field).

Am also a bit miffed that I saw a copy on the shelves before I received my pre-ordered copy. I'm not sure I understand the point of pre-ordering.
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:02 pm

We used it a lot during our stay, and the improvement over the previous versions is startling!
The sonograms with some of the birds, like the cisticolas, makes it a snap to ID them.
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:47 am

DuQues wrote:We used it a lot during our stay, and the improvement over the previous versions is startling!
The sonograms with some of the birds, like the cisticolas, makes it a snap to ID them.
DuQues, which improvements (besides the sonograms)?

The sonograms might be less useful for me, as I have the calls on my phone (Sasol eBirds), as well as the CD with LBJs Made Easy now.
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby DuQues » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:28 am

The maps have improved, the status is clear, the calendar is viewed in a wink of the eye.
Overall it is easier on the eye, better laid out, clearer.
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Re: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa 4th edition

Unread postby mosij » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:25 pm

Josh of the Bushveld wrote:
Rooies wrote:I have got all the previous editions of Sasol (and Newmans, Sinclair, Oberprieler and Cilliers) and want to know whether the 4th edition is such an improvement that one has to buy it.

I'm not convinced (yet)



Also not convinced - definitely don't like some of the artwork - larks in particular & the fact that most of the nightjars are only depicted in flight.
Haven't used it in the field yet, but tried it as my only resource for the Bird ID challenge. Got 7/10-we'll see if the 3 I got wrong are the ones I thought Sasol didn't help as much as it could have :twisted:


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