I opened this new Crossley Guide with some intrepidation as I am not usually a fan of photographic bird guides. This new edition to the Crossley ID library has however, changed my opinion. It is quite simply an amazing concept. The book is almost interactive, with the bird filled images on each page draw you into the scene as if you were there, looking at a lagoon full of Ruff in varying plumages or you’d just come across a flock of Waxwing! You can be forgiven for thinking, “I’m sure I’ve been there before?” when you see the background scenes, because you probably have! The plates represent the way each species would look in the field and I especially like the Wilson’s Petrel images with the Scillonian III in the background. In fact there are a few Cornish backdrops (I keep finding more as I look harder!). Lesser Black-backed Gulls page has a view of the Hayle Estuary and I’m sure the Manx Shearwater’s are off Mousehole!?
The Crossley Guide has something for everyone. I would suggest this book is an absolute must for beginners or novice birders. I can think of no better format that I have seen that caters for this audience. The species are set out in an order that immediately aids comparison between similar species and most are shown in flight and in all plumages.
For the more experienced birder, the book is a pleasure. It covers some of the more complex Gull plumages, has some great images of seabirds and wildfowl in flight and has just enough scarcities to keep you entertained. If nothing else you’ll enjoy identifying the background sites!
Even Ringers can use this guide as each species has the five digit BTO code next to the scientific names!!
For under £15, the Crossley ID Guide – Britain and Ireland will, I’m sure, be a welcome stocking filler this Christmas! CLICK ON THE AMAZON LINK ON THE RIGHT TO PURCHASE.