> Could anyone recommend an app or a collection of bird call recordings I
can purchase before
> my trip to South Africa in June next year?
Lucky you! There's a fairly active local email list for South Africa and
I've always found them very helpful with questions:
Southern Africa is better-covered with apps, books, etc. than anyplace else
on earth outside of North America. For songs and apps, I've used Roberts
and eSasol..and a stack of other books (I'm not at home right now, ask if
you need more suggestions.) Get both. For field guides...there is much
debate...I'd get eSasol on paper and Roberts only electronically.
One book to *absolutely* get is Faansie Peacock's LBJ's book:
I'm keen on field guides and can't compare this with *any* of them. It's
unique, and a masterpiece. Unlike here, southern Africa has tons of LBJs.
Tons. Faansie's book makes it possible to make progress with them and enjoy
them a whole lot more. The text and illustrations throughout are just
In looking this up, I noticed that he's got a new wader book coming out:
There's a nice little video introduction. I'd buy this in a heartbeat. As
an illustrator, Faansie Peacock is only one of a handful of people at the
level of Doug Pratt. (He does the hard sea birds and birds of Hawaii as his
scientific speciality, but used to contribute tons of plates to other books
as well.) I don't just mean the quality of the paintings, I mean the
quality of *observation* going into the paintings. For very subtle groups
(LBJs, sea birds, waders all come to mind), it takes a very, very
particular sort of illustrator to do things well. Faansie Peacock is one of
those exceptionally rare people.
> Ideally I'd like something like the old BOCA CDs where a person names the
birds before the calls are played so I can just
> listen over and over without having to click on each species just to hear
calls. It would be great for my bus rides to work.
I don't have the apps with me, but some bird apps have a kind of training
or quiz mode.
Have a great trip!
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