Home
 
 

Review Shetland Bird Report 2008 published by The Shetland Bird Club

 
 

This page contains 1 reader comment. Click here to view (latest Tue 08/12/09 20:12).

Shetland Bird Report 2008
I've flicked through and read more county bird reports than I can shake a tripod at. Some are rather dire, uninspiring, publications where even the most exciting of species are rendered flat and uninteresting and some are a curate's egg, good in parts but generally not really what they could be. Then, of course, there are those county bird reports that stand head and shoulders above the others.

I'm certainly not criticising those that spend vast amounts of time gathering records, adjudicating upon them, collating everything together and whipping it into a readable format. I know from my decade's tenure as the Inner London Recorder just how much effort goes into the putting together of a county report, even at an individual level. The collective workload is gargantuan and has traditionally been a bit of a thankless task that requires significant focus and plenty of incursions into free time. Furthermore it's wholly unpaid and woe betide to the poor species account writer who gets a date wrong.

County bird reports (regardless of quality) even in this whizzy, new-fangled, digital age still have a vital role to play. They are the record that we refer to, the place where lucky observers can lodge accounts of county firsts for posterity, where researchers into future county avifaunas will delve with interest and the natural home for papers we may wish to publish relating to our county's birds. Most (though of course not all) birders I know still welcome the thud on the doormat that signifies the arrival of the latest edition.

And so to the Shetland Bird Report for 2008. This is one of those reports I mentioned earlier that stands head and shoulders above many (unsurprising perhaps given the status of the isles in British ornithological lore). Published by the Shetland Bird Club, this slim little volume (128 pages) is a joy.

The format will be, for the most part, familiar to anyone who's invested in a bird report: the contents include a list of contributors, credits and contact details; an editorial which reports on the Breeding Bird and Wetlands Bird Surveys for 2008; a guide for record submission; a list of rarity decisions (including reports no longer considered acceptable) and unsupported records. Many county bird reports would do well to follow this 'list of decisions and unsupported records' format in the interest of openness.

There then follows the Shetland ringing report for 2008 (which covers selected species) and a good thorough seasonal summary.

We are then into the main systematic list that forms the bulk of this publication. Two nice touches instantly struck me about this list: firstly the species name is highlighted in blue and the photographs are embedded within the text. The former makes it just that bit easier to read and the latter allows the reader to look at the bird(s) he or she is currently reading about. These may seem minor points but it's little things like this that set the quality bird reports apart from the less pleasing. The list is illustrated with an impressive 111 good-quality photographs which will no doubt remind the avid Shetland birder, and visiting twitcher, of some amazing days in the field.

Amongst those species depicted are American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup, King Eider, White-billed Diver, Great White Egret, Black Stork, Red-footed Falcon, American Golden Plover, Iceland, Glaucous and Ivory Gulls, Short-toed Lark, Tawny and Red-throated Pipits, Thrush Nightingale, Siberian Stonechat, Lanceolated, Aquatic, Paddyfield, Eastern Olivaceous, Syke's, Booted and Hume's Warblers, Rose-coloured Starling, Arctic Redpoll, Two-barred Crossbill and Rustic Bunting. Mouth-watering stuff.

The report concludes with the small list of escapes, a code for birders on Shetland and details relating to the Shetland Bird Club, plus a membership form.

Even for the birder who's yet to visit this ornithological hot-spot this report will be of interest — how could it fail to be! It's nicely produced and contains the 2008 story of some very desirable species indeed.

Shetland Bird Report 2008 Published 2009 by The Shetland Bird Club.
Softback. 128 pages.
RRP, £10. ISSN 1364 4149
Available from Russ Haywood, Shetland Bird Club, Lamnaberg, Wester Quarff, Shetland ZE2 9EZ. Tel: (01950) 477419.

Related pages

Shetland Shetland


Related articles

Review Finding Birds in Ireland: 2nd edition by Eric Dempsey and Michael O'Clery Review Finding Birds in Ireland: 2nd edition by Eric Dempsey and Michael O'Clery
Josh Jones takes a look at this updated version, published seven years after the original. read on read on
Review Challenge Series: Autumn by Martin Garner Review Challenge Series: Autumn by Martin Garner
Alan Tilmouth takes a look at Martin Garner's innovative new publication covering a range of seasonal bird identification issues. read on read on
Review The Bird Songs of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East app Review The Bird Songs of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East app
Dominic Mitchell examines the new iPhone/iPad app version of Schulze and Dingler's reference work. read on read on
Review Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8x42 binocular Review Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8x42 binocular
Is Vanguard's latest Endeavor ED II binocular a worthy upgrade on its predecessor? Mike Alibone investigates and discovers the brand is living up to its name. read on read on
Review Collins Bird Guide app for iPhone and iPad Review Collins Bird Guide app for iPhone and iPad
Josh Jones is thrilled by the new app version of the Collins Bird Guide, and believes it will quickly be established as the ultimate in field guide apps. read on read on


The information in this article was believed correct at the time of writing. BirdGuides accepts no responsibility for errors, or for any consequences of acting on information in the article. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily shared by BirdGuides Ltd.

hide section Reader comments (1)

#1
As an added incentive, buying the 2008 Shetland Bird Report also gives you a complimentary membership to the Shetland Bird Club for one year. Get that cheque in the post to Russ!
   Hugh Harrop, 08/12/09 20:12Report inappropriate post Report 

Back to top Back to top

Latest edition Latest edition
Search articles Search articles
All articles All articles
Popular articles Popular articles
 
   
 
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Terms of Sale | Cookie Policy | About us | Advertise | Contact us
BirdGuides, Warners Group Publications PLC, The Chocolate Factory, 5 Clarendon Road, London N22 6XJ
© 2014 BirdGuides and Warners Group Publications plc. All Rights Reserved. Company Registered in England no. 2572212 | VAT registration No. GB 638 3492 15
Sales: or tel. 0800 919391 · International Sales: +44 (0)1536 273532 · Office: or tel. 020 8826 0934
 
   

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites