Where to Watch Birds in East Anglia: Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk
- Where to Watch Birds in East Anglia: Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk by David Callahan (Bloomsbury, London, 2020).
- 368 pages.
- ISBN 9781472962225. Paperback, £25.
- Bookshop from £23
Site guides have long been an invaluable tool for birders, and though much information is now available on the internet there is still a strong market for these books. This work serves as an update to the Helm Guide covering the same region written by Peter and Margaret Clarke, last updated in 2002.
Information for larger sites is divided into Highlights/Expected species, Finding the site, Opening times/facilities and Strategy and timing, with smaller sections for less important sites. Maps break up the text (there are no other illustrations or photographs), along with grid references and useful contact information.
The detail is good and accurate, though information on facilities such as wheelchair and pushchair suitability is not included for every entry. Introductions to the regions provide interesting context. Four pages of appendices include useful links, with brief, specific guidance on sites for gulls, raptors and starling murmurations.
The book is authoritative, well presented and generally well researched, and is clearly the new definitive guide to the region. It includes some lesser-known, quite new sites such as my own local nature reserve in Cambridgeshire. Although novel to me, its inclusion seems questionable; some other more productive sites in the county seem to have been omitted completely and the species highlighted here are perhaps not the most representative. This is a fairly minor gripe, however, as it would have been impractical to have every last entry checked by those observers most familiar with the sites.
East Anglia has much birdlife and many great sites to offer and this book does the area justice with invaluable information throughout that reflects the author’s understanding of the needs of visiting birders. I certainly recommend it.