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Wildlife Camera » Book reviews

Archive for 'Book reviews'

The Man with the Golden Binoculars

26 November 2009
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Frigatebird

When I’m packing for a trip to the Caribbean, the first thing that goes into the suitcase is the James Bond book.

It’s getting a bit battered now – it has seen a lot of miles – but it is still the best. Ian Fleming thought so too. The book is The Birds of the West Indies. The author is James Bond. And when Fleming was writing his first 007 thriller in his hideaway in Jamaica, he “borrowed” the name of the ornithologist for his hero in Casino Royale.

The borrowing happened in 1952, over breakfast in Fleming’s favourite room in the villa at Goldeneye, with its view under the shade trees to the sea. The book was on the table, beside the binoculars, and Fleming found his inspiration. (more…)

The Tale of the Red Canary

13 November 2009
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Red canary

“Darwin and sex” was the title which caught my eye. It was the subject of a recent lecture to an animal behaviour conference in Oxford and the lecturer was Professor Tim Birkhead.

This is the same Tim Birkhead who used to turn up at cage-bird club meetings in the North of England and explain canary genetics. Over a pie and a pint he could open fanciers’ eyes to the possibilities of breeding a better canary. And he is one of the few people who understands both serious ornithology and also the motivations of bird keepers. His 2004 paperback, The Red Canary,  is my favourite cage bird book – a masterpiece of popular science. (more…)

Buy the bird guide — but which is best?

4 September 2007
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snowy egret

Scattered through the pages of Wildlife Camera you will find the phrase: “Buy the bird-book and go.” But which book? Expert birders are (almost) agreed that there is just one outstanding bird-guide for Britain and Europe, and possibly a choice of two for North America.

(more…)

Take it now — the best photo tip

29 August 2007
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camel train

One of the best travel books ever written is First Overland, by Tim Slessor, which tells the story of an expedition by half a dozen undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge who drove two Land-Rovers from London to Singapore in 1955-56. (more…)