Best Field Guide for waders

To: "David Adams" <>, <>
Subject: Best Field Guide for waders
From: "Ricki Coughlan" <>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 18:49:36 +1100
Hi David
I put the question to the list as, despite many redeeming features (excellent maps, ID features with illustrations, nests and eggs guide, etc.) in the Moorecombe field guide, I didn't find the wader illustrations very helpful. I couldn't choose between the guides of Simpson and Day and the Pizzey and Knight. The response from Birding-Aus was unanimous: "Shorebirds - An identification guide to the waders of the world". By Peter Hayman, John Marchant and Tony Prater. Published by Christopher Helm, this book is out of print.
I've had several reports that a later paperback edition exists but is let down by poor reproductions of the artwork, so I clearly stipulated that I wanted the the hard cover when I ordered my copy. I located my book through biblioquest They sourced me a copy in the UK and it took several weeks to acquire it - in mint condition for around $100.
This book is a peerless ID guide but I would have to say that in many instances the notes on distribution etc. are, predictably, out of date (my edition is 1986). This is largely due to the variability of wader movements as well as our increasing knowledge about these fascinating birds.
You could still flip a coin regarding the Simpson and Day or Pizzey and Knight question as both have many excellent features and one may have what the other may lack. Our preference for field guides is often a reflection of how we see birds in the first place so birders will make their choices accordingly.
Happy birding
Broome WA
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