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 http://www.biblioquest.com.au/. 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predictably, out of date (my edition is 1986).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
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.