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Field Guides

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:36 pm
Location: Pretoria

Re: Field Guides

Unread post by JoelR » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:26 am

deefstes wrote:Birds of Africa South of the Sahara is a fantastic book but not really very convenient as a field guide. I think JoelR might want to comment on that.

I'll defend this guide as the best book in history 'till my death :twisted: , since I lugged this brick along on my first (walking!) ventures in the bush and it helped me tick my first 300+ species, learning a lot about African birdlife in the process.

But these days I only use BoASoS as home reference - usually just bringing along my pda. :wink:

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Location: Johannesburg

Re: Field Guides

Unread post by mosij » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:35 am

I love ALL the books!
But I regret that I've got lazy enough not to keep going the way I learnt to bird in the UK - take your bins, a pencil & a notebook & leave the field guide at home or in the car. It really sharpens your observation skills & teaches you what's important when you're trying to identify something.

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Re: Field Guides

Unread post by mountainview » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:51 pm

When I was 14 I bought a Roberts IV for R12.48. Half the pics were still the old pics by Norman Lighton and the other newer half was by Kenneth Newman (he was exceptional in the late seventies). Later he brought out his own series and in the mean time Roberts had moved all their plates to the front. I wasn't too happy about that and so I refused to buy the book.

I somehow obtained a 1991 copy of Newman's (but it was only a half decent job, although I still use it on the odd occasion). It was still in his own format. IMHO, the birding community bought into later editions indiscriminately considering their sponsors utter destruction of habitat.

In the mean time Sasol had brought out their guide in 1996. A decade passed and by 2007 all my books were now outdated, not only in terms of the names, but in terms of the information too ... I had no option but to update after avoiding the issue for 16 years. I purchased the Roberts VII and would have purchased the Roberts field guide had I any inkling that it was coming out, but unfortunately I purchased the Sasol BOSA guide. Though it is very good, I've a healthy scepticism for the guides.

Latest Lifers: Brown-Backed Honeybird; Violet-Eared Waxbill; Green-Winged Pytilia; and heard often but never seen - Yellow-Fronted Tinkerbird (±2m away in the open)

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