Skip to Content

Fieldguide: BIRDS

See what other forumites recommend you should read

Moderator: hilda

User avatar
saraf
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8848
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:19 pm
Location: Portsmouth, England

Unread postby saraf » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:59 pm

For all UK-based birders the Roberts Field Guide is now here - saw it this weekend in the WWT shop in London for £17.99. Looks very good.
Nominations are now open for the Website Community Choice Award - Kudu Awards 2015

wingman
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 581
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:00 am
Location: Durban Kwazulu Natal SA

Unread postby wingman » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:04 am

I have all three updated Sasol, Roberts new version (fathers days are great) and the old Kruger guide. I find the Sasol plates better not so harsh on the feather patterns and easier to view but Roberts better on the written detail ,for everyday basic use in the KNP nothing can touch my old newmans probably becuase of its size and weight I can lug it around and also hold it in my hand while using bino's etc.
Now Im looking for a good raptor guide with colour variation plates any sugestions, I will go and look at the ones mentioned earlier.
Enjoy your birding with the birds I never have a dull moment no matter where I am.

User avatar
Pjw
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3424
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Africa's Largest City

Unread postby Pjw » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:27 pm

If you can find the one I'm looking for "Raptor Identification Guide for Southern Africa"by Ulrich Oberpriellr & Burger Cillie. It has Colur variations, Juvenile & sub adult photos & ín flight wing patterns. It is really great, but seems to be out of print at the moment. Please let me know if you see it anywhere in KZN so I can order a copy

Happy birding
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

User avatar
Batmad
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2729
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
Location: Looking for Bats...

Unread postby Batmad » Sat May 24, 2008 5:54 pm

finaley i have purchased a roberts bird guide!!!!!! My very first bird book! (please note i have only just started birding) the book is awsome, the pictures the detail everything!
i esspecialy like the fact that they have put in the birds breeding times and when they are in breeding plumage.
it is a must get and I recon it is beter than all the other bird guides.

all forum members that love birding.................get this book!
Avid birder, wildlife enthusiast and photographer with a special interest in Bats and Birds

2014 Birding Big Year- A 365 Day quest for 800 Species of Southern African Birds

User avatar
Pjw
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3424
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Africa's Largest City

Unread postby Pjw » Sun May 25, 2008 9:01 am

Hi Batmad. Birding is totally addictive! And when you start out it can be quite frustrating . I suggest jou find a bird club in your area and go out on their monthly walks. ( Birdlife SA usually have details of the bird clubs) You learn a lot from these people. You don't say where you live, but if you are in JHB area I can pm you the details of the club I belong to and the details of an excellent beginners birding course I did a couple of years ago. It really helpd me a lot
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 15802
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sat May 31, 2008 6:35 am

On my last trip I used a combination of "Roberts Bird Guide" and "Best Birding in Kruger".
For a novice, it made birding so much easier, what a treat.
I am, however, going to get myself a good book on raptors.
Although "Best Birding in Kruger" has a section on raptors, it is not comprehensive enough when it comes to juveniles.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

User avatar
Imax
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1066
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:54 am
Location: In Limbo

Unread postby Imax » Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:22 pm

Is there any old hand at birding that uses the new Roberts field guide and find it confusing?

I am trying to make sense out of their ordering of species and similar birds and have found the book difficult in the field. Examples are the warblers with most on pages 248-254, but then there are some on 272 and 260. All the flycatchers are together except one that is placed with the shrikes, but has no similarities with the shrikes on that page.

The information in the book is great and far better than my old Newmans, but I have resorted back to my battered Newmans as I find it easier to use.

User avatar
JenB
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 18217
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
Contact:

Unread postby JenB » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:48 pm

For me, Sasol is still king, maybe just because I've been using it for so long. I always take Roberts along for more info but not the latest one, the car will be overloaded even before I pack.
(Shheezzz, did you see the size of that book! It should be sold on a trolley!)
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

User avatar
Pjw
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3424
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Africa's Largest City

Unread postby Pjw » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:34 pm

JenB you are thinking of" Roberts The text book" There is a field guide out now that is the sise of Newmans or Sasol. Its great, and is very informative, but I still prefer my Newmans. I think it comes down to what you are used to
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

User avatar
Jock
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:26 am
Location: Hunter Valley, Australia
Contact:

Unread postby Jock » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:16 am

I have just purchased "The Birdguide of Southern Africa" by Ulrich Oberprieler and Burger Cillie. The pictures of each bird are generally very good and clear, and it is certainly an valued addition to my bird book collection when trying to id these little creatures.
Cheers
Her Highness Jockelina


Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away

User avatar
Batmad
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2729
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
Location: Looking for Bats...

Unread postby Batmad » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:23 pm

even though roberts might be a bit confusing the pics are awsome and the information to. if you look at the begginig there is a quik index so you can look for the species and then turn to that species's page and from there on find the bird you are looking for. it also has the new names and gives you a explanation on what the nest looks like.

i still say its the best and will recomend it to everyone.


all the best
Batmad :mrgreen:
Avid birder, wildlife enthusiast and photographer with a special interest in Bats and Birds

2014 Birding Big Year- A 365 Day quest for 800 Species of Southern African Birds

User avatar
Imax
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1066
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:54 am
Location: In Limbo

Unread postby Imax » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:13 am

Batmad, I agree with you that the index in the front cover is handy, but even in this there are some omissions where i had to look up the bird in the index in the back (and this you can only do if you know your birds well, and know what you are looking for.)

Nope, I will continue using my Newmans, but will have to track down a newer copy as mine is falling apart.

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5483
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:19 am

I must say that I have found that one must have at least 2 reference guides to work from. I use SASOL III most of the time but also own Roberts' field guide and my SO uses Newman's. I have a raptor specific guide and also use Roberts' software and internet references.

All guides have "gaps" which can be filled with the other references.

This to me is the only way I sometimes manage to id a specific tricky bird.

User avatar
Pjw
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3424
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Africa's Largest City

Unread postby Pjw » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:19 pm

As I said before, it comes down to what you are used to. But I agree with WTM. All guides have gaps or pictures that are not the best so a 2nd book is useful, I don't think any of the ones mentioned here are bad at all, just personal preferences
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

User avatar
Batmad
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2729
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
Location: Looking for Bats...

Unread postby Batmad » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:23 pm

i have purchased a book for R10 from a charity shop! it is basically a newmans bird guide but for kruger! i think it is out of print because it was puplished in 1994. :wink:
Avid birder, wildlife enthusiast and photographer with a special interest in Bats and Birds

2014 Birding Big Year- A 365 Day quest for 800 Species of Southern African Birds


Return to “Bookshelf”