Wednesday, June 5, 2013
1) Bradley, Patricia E. and Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet. A Photographic Guide to the Birds of the Cayman Islands. 2013. Helm. Paperback: 288 pages. Price: $40.00 U.S./£25.00.
SUMMARY: With a rich avifauna of more than 300 species, the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands - Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac - form an increasingly popular birding destination. Although the islands' sole endemic species, Cayman Islands Thrush, was extinct by the 1940s, the islands have a healthy crop of regional scarcities and are an important migrant stopping point as they cross the Caribbean.
Containing hundreds of stunning photographs by Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet, A Photographic Guide to the Birds of the Cayman Islands, the latest addition to Helm's Photographic Guides series, provides full photographic coverage of every species on the Cayman Islands list. Concise text for each species includes identification, similar species, voice, habitats and behaviour, status and distribution.
This guide is an essential companion for anyone visiting these beautiful islands.
RECOMMENDATION: Birders to these islands will find this book useful.
2) Mackrill, Tim, Tim Appleton, and Helen McIntyre . The Rutland Water Ospreys. 2013. Bloomsbury. Hardbound: 160 pages. Price: $30.00 U.S./ £20.00. SUMMARY: Anglian Water's project to reintroduce the Osprey to England has been an outstanding success, but is also a very personal project for the volunteers who have been involved in the Ospreys' journey from Scotland to Africa via Rutland.
This new book, published in close collaboration with Anglian Water and the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, is a celebration of their project and a chance for Osprey fans everywhere to discover the many amazing stories behind the Rutland Osprey team's efforts over the last two decades to re-establish these magnificent birds in England.
Historically the Osprey was widely distributed throughout England but by at the end of the last century Ospreys hadn't bred in England for more than 150 years. Thanks to Anglian Water's close work with the LRWT English chicks hatched in 2001 at Rutland Water, their largest reservoir.
This ground-breaking project was the first of its kind in Europe, and is now in its eighteenth year. Other Osprey translocation projects in Italy and Spain have come about as a direct result of it, and breeding pairs are also now established in Wales as an indirect result of the work of the Rutland Osprey team.
The Rutland Water team monitor the Ospreys from their arrival from Senegal and the Gambia in March, through to their autumn migration. The nest sites at Rutland allow visitors to get close views to the Ospreys, and artist and photographer John Wright has been working for Anglian Water for several years to document the Rutland Ospreys from even closer.
Stories will reveal early disappointments, detail the Ospreys' incredible journeys as they migrate to Africa, and convey the pride the Rutland field team and many locals feel as 'their' Ospreys return to the same roost year on year.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in British Ospreys.
3) Potapov, Eugene and Richard Sale. The Snowy Owl. 2012. T & A D Poyser. Hardbound: 304 pages. Price: $90.00 U.S./£50.00. SUMMARY: The Snowy Owl - possibly the world's sexiest bird - needs little introduction. This massive white owl breeds throughout the Arctic, wherever there are voles or lemmings to hunt, from Scandinavia through northern Russia to Canada and Greenland. Southerly movements in winter see North American birds travel as far south as the northern United States, while infrequent vagrants on the Shetlands and other northern isles are a magnet for birders. The Snowy Owl gives this popular bird the full Poyser treatment, with sections looking at morphology, distribution, palaeontology and evolution, habitat, breeding, diet, population dynamics, movements, interspecific relationships and conservation, supported by some fabulous photography and the art of Jackie Garner. A major strength is the availability to the authors of Russian literature, which is generally out of reach for Western scientists.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for those with a technical or semi-technical interest in the species.