Birdwatchers' Year is, in essence, six 'years' of bird activity and behaviour as recorded, month by month, by six experienced bird watchers and ornithologists. The result is a fascinating compilation of fact, anecdote and general observation as seen and noted by the authors, that will appeal to birdwatchers at all levels of expertise. The habitats (Brent Reservoir in NW London, a Kentish woodland, the Ouse Washes in Cambridgeshire, farmland in Derbyshire, a mountain region of SW Scotland, and an island, the Calf of Man) encompass a wide and varied range of breeding, resident and passage birds, but the authors' observations are not confined to bird life alone - there are comments and 'asides' on many aspects of natural history and wildlife, weather and seasons, conservation and ecology. Each author has brought an individual approach to his 'diary' with the result that they are entertainingly diverse in style, content and viewpoint. The common factor throughout is an affectionate regard for the subject, an intimate knowledge of the habitat, and an evident understanding and knowledge of the birds and their environment. The diarists are: Leo Batten, Research Officer at the British Trust for Ornithology, Dr Jim Flegg, Director of the BTO, Jeremy Sorensen, RSPB Warden of the Ouse Washes, Donald Watson, bird artist and past-President of the Scottish Ornithologists' Club, Mike J. Wareing, farmer, Malcolm Wright, Warden of the Calf of Man Bird Observatory. The diaries are illustrated with line drawings by Ian Willis, except for that of Donald Watson, which is illustrated by its author. The bookjacket illustrations are by Ian Willis.
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