Sunday, July 10, 2011

Princeton field guide: Svensson's Birds of Europe

Prior to leaving for my trip to Bulgaria, I had a discussion with Harold Eyster about the field guide Birds of Europe, second edition by Lars Svensson.

I  commented that I would be taking this field guide on the trip but that I really didn't like it.  My dislike was based on things like the heavy and awkward size of the guide, the crowded plates and small size of the bird illustrations followed by tiny, unclear range maps. 

Harold shrugged his shoulders in polite disagreement and said that he really liked this field guide and supported his statement saying simply that he thought the descriptions for each bird were excellent and that this attention to detail more than made up for the small image size of the bird illustrations.

Now that the trip is over, I will say that Harold's assessment of the Birds of Europe is by far the more accurate.  It's an excellent field guide. As soon as we began to use it in the field, Harold's reasons for liking the guide became immediately clear.  Superficial concerns about size and heaviness melted away in favor of superior descriptions matching excellent illustrations.  Where the small range maps were concerned, a study of the map of Europe was enough to make them clear.  

We had three field guides available for our perusal on the trip and the one we always defaulted to was Svensson's 2009 Birds of Europe. Anyway, how could I not like it with one of my favorite birds on the cover?

Още, за да се!

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