Barn Owl
Blackbird
Blackcap
Black-headed Gull
Black Redstart
Blue Tit
Brambling
Bullfinch
Buzzard
Carrion Crow
Chaffinch
Chiffchaff
Coal Tit
Collared Dove
Common Gull
Coot
Crested Tit
Crossbill
Cuckoo
Dunnock
Feral Pigeon
Fieldfare
Garden Warbler
Goldcrest
Goldfinch
Goshawk
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit
Greenfinch
Green Woodpecker
Grey Heron
Grey Partridge
Grey Wagtail
Hawfinch
Herring Gull
Hoopoe
House Martin
House Sparrow
Jackdaw
Jay
Kestrel
Kingfisher
Lapwing
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Whitethroat
Linnet
Little Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-tailed Tit
Magpie
Mallard
Marsh Tit
Meadow Pipit
Mistle Thrush
Moorhen
Nightingale
Nuthatch
Peregrine
Pheasant
Pied Flycatcher
Pied Wagtail
Quail
Raven
Red Kite
Red-legged Partridge
Redpoll
Redstart
Redwing
Reed Bunting
Ring-necked Parakeet
Robin
Rook
Sand Martin
Serin
Short-eared Owl
Siskin
Skylark
Song Thrush
Sparrowhawk
Spotted Flycatcher
Starling
Stock Dove
Stonechat
Swallow
Swift
Tawny Owl
Treecreeper
Tree Sparrow
Turtle Dove
Waxwing
Whinchat
Whitethroat
Willow Tit
Willow Warbler
Wood Pigeon
Wren
Yellow Wagtail
Yellowhammer

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Other Guides

These books are better suited to armchair reading, but some may be all right carried in a rucksack.

cover Bird Guide; K. Mullarney, L. Svensson, D. Zetterstrom, and P. Grant; Collins; ISBN 0007192991; 1999 (Large Format)
This book has been praised by most birders ever since it was published for its excellent pictures and descriptions of over 700 species. I think it is outstanding and a worthy addition to any bookshelf. This large format book is for the coffee table and not the backpack, but allows you to really appreciate the stunning illustrations. Also available in smaller format hardback and paperback.

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cover Birds Britannica; M. Cocker & R. Mabey; Chatto and Windus ; ISBN 0701169079; 2005
Birds Britannica is magnificent and lavishly illustrated book that reveals the importance of birds in our culture, including folklore, myths, art and literature, birds as food, anecdotes, the seasons and much, much more.

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cover The New Encyclopaedia of Birds; C. Perrins; Oxford University Press; ISBN 0198525060; 2003
This weighty tome is absolutely magnificent - profusely illustrated with fantastic photographs and pictures of all the World's main bird families. So, if you are interested in finding out more about Ostriches, Penguins, Bower Birds, Vultures and so on, this is the book you have been waiting for.

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cover Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America; K. M. Olsen et. al; Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd; ISBN 0713670878; 2004
If you are fascinated by gulls but struggle to identify the different species by the often subtle differences then this book should be on your bookshelf - well, probably on your coffee table. The illustrations, photographs and descriptions are excellent. Beware, however, this really is not a book for those wanting to separate Black-headed Gulls from Mediterranean Gulls - there is simply too much information in here and for species you would rarely see in the UK.

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cover Collins Birds of the World: Every Bird Family Illustrated and Explained; L. Beletsky; Collins; ISBN 0007242360; 2007
I couldn't wait for my copy of this title from Collins. Sadly, although the illustrations are excellent, the rather limited number of species and poor accompanying text makes this one of the poorest bird books from the Collins stable. If you want to learn more about the bird species of the World, get a copy of The New Encyclopaedia of Birds.

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cover The Birds of the Western Palearctic - Concise Edition; D.W. Snow & C.M. Perrins; Oxford University Press; ISBN 019854099X; 1998
This two volume set distils the 9 volume set. Within the 1700 pages the descriptions for each species found Europe, North Africa and the Middle East comprises: identification, size and weight, habitat, distribution, population, food, voice, behaviour, and breeding. Now out of print.
cover Tracks & Signs of the Birds of Britain & Europe; R. Brown et. al; Helm; ISBN 0713653825; 2003
Have you ever found a feather, but cannot identify from which bird it came? Well, this book can help identify birds from what is left behind, whether this is their tracks, nests, pellets, droppings, feathers or skulls. Superb! Already I have identified birds from feathers that I have found, which in some cases I would still be wondering about had it not been for this book.

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cover Bird Nests, Eggs & Nestlings; C. Harrison & P. Castell; Collins; ISBN 0002201259; 1998
The cover states this is "a book for bird-lovers, not for egg collectors". Detailed descriptions and illustrations in this book offer insights into an interesting part of the bird's life cycle.

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cover Bill Oddie's Birds of Britain & Ireland; New Holland; ISBN 1853688983; 1998
This is billed as the ideal book for the beginner, which indeed it is, however, anyone loving birds will find this book enjoyable - particularly with Bill's irruptions of wit.

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cover Birds by Behaviour; D. Couzens; Collins; ISBN 0007115490; 2003
This is not your typical field guide; forget detailed descriptions and illustrations of birds as this one concentrates on how the birds behave when feeding, flying, etc., thus often providing that essential key in differentiating between two similar looking species. The book is profusely illustrated and annotated, and this leads to the one minor criticism: some pages are a bit cluttered.

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cover Secret Lives of British Birds; D. Couzens; Christopher Helm; ISBN 0713675136; 2006
Well-written and beautifully illustrated, this book explores the lives of birds in specific habitats, such as heath, forest, estuary and sea. Unlike "Secret Lives of Garden Birds", this book does struggle at times to give total satisfaction.

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Delin Photographic Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe; H. Delin and L. Svensson; Chancellor Press; ISBN 1851529446; 1996
A large (29cm x 22cm) format book with many excellent photographic illustrations and descriptions of 570 birds of Britain and Europe. Unlike some books based on photographs, this one includes photographs of juvenile and female birds where they differ from the adult male.
 
Flegg Birds of the British Isles; J. Flegg; Island Books; 2001
Under the editorship of Jim Flegg, an awesome gathering of ornithologists have contributed to this book. Unfortunately, an incomplete contents list, no index, and countless typographical errors spoil what is otherwise a very readable book about more than 100 species.
 
Campbell A Field Guide to Birds' Nests; B. Campbell & J. Ferguson-Lees; Constable; ISBN 0094583501; 1972
Out-of-print: provides details on the habitats, nest sites and nest structure of 234 British breeding bird species.
 

Last revision: 21 Feb 2015
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