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Books about Somerset birds and birdwatching in Somerset

The books are arranged by publication date with the most recent at the top of the page.



For bird books about other English counties see:

Bedfordshire
Berkshire
Bristol (Avon)
Buckinghamshire
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Derbyshire
Devon
Dorset
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Isle of Wight
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London
Manchester
Merseyside
Norfolk
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Rutland
Shropshire
Somerset
Staffordshire
Suffolk
Surrey
Sussex
Warwickshire
West Midlands
Wiltshire
Worcestershire
Yorkshire

 

The Birds of Exmoor And The Quantocks

David Ballance, Brian Gibbs, Roger Butcher

Illustrations: Tom Raven & Brian Slade Photographic Editor: John Rivoire

2016

Second edition following the first published in 2003. Covers 300 species recorded in Exmoor, the Quantocks and some adjacent areas. Includes information on birdwatching sites.

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Guide to Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve

Julie Merrett, Simon Clarke

Illustrations: Mike Langman, Chris Shields, Lizzie Harper

Occasional Publication Volume 172

Field Studies Council

2016

"Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is a magnificent 530 hectare wetland reserve situated at the heart of the Somerset Moors and Levels. It forms part of the 'Avalon Marshes', one of the largest areas of wetland in the UK. This 12-panel fold-out chart features many of the special animals and plants for which this area is justly famous. Text on the reverse side reviews the major habitats found on the resever, as well as including a timeline of the reserve's history from the end of the last glacial period onwards."

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Somerset Atlas of Breeding and Wintering Birds 20072012

David K Ballance, Rob Grimmond, Julian Thomas, Eve Tigwell

Introduction: Stephen Moss

Foreword: Simon King

Somerset Ornithological Society

2015

"This is the first published Atlas of breeding and wintering birds in Somerset and will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the county's birds. It covers five years of fieldwork from winter 2007 to summer 2012 and contains maps for almost 200 species. This joint SOS/BTO project ran concurrently with the national Atlas project, and uses the same data plus that from an extra year's fieldwork. The Somerset Atlas displays bird distributions in the county at a finer resolution than the national project could achieve. The species texts are complemented by sections on habitat, methodology and coverage."

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Avon Atlas 2007-11

Richard L. Bland, M. Dadds

Bristol Naturalists' Society

2012

"The Avon Atlas 2007-11 summarises the work of some 530 observers in the 17 hectads of the Avon BTO area between 2007 and 2011. All 403 tetrads were surveyed, the majority for four hours in summer and four in winter. Avon Atlas 2007-11 compares the results with the previous breeding Atlas in 1992 and the winter Atlas in 1986. Detailed statistics are presented on density in different habitats based on the concept of the observed rate per hour."

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Somerset's Coast: A Living Landscape

Nigel Phillips

Natural Time Out

2012

"This is a stunning book which describes the huge diversity of landscapes and wildlife found along this wonderful coast. It is packed with photographs of coastal habitats and the wildlife that can be found. It has maps and appendices helping to point out what might be seen, and where and when things occur. It includes lists of all the plants, seaweeds, birds, marine creatures, butterflies, grasshoppers and crickets and dragonflies you might find along the shore and on the cliffs and cliff tops."

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A History of the Birds of Somerset

David K. Ballance

Illustrations: Tom Raven, Brian Slade Isabelline Books

2006

"This new Somerset avifauna is the first since 1988. Written in clear, engaging language, it covers the birds of the post-1974 County from the earliest times to the end of 2004, setting the most recent information on species, habitats, breeding and migration in an historical context."

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The Somerset Wetlands: An Ever Changing Environment

Editor: Pat Hill-Cottingham, Derek Briggs, Richard Brunning, Andy King, Graham Rix

Halsgrove / Westcountry Books

2006

"Somerset Wetlands is an original, multi-disciplinary and contemporary review of the Somerset Wetlands through time, with an expert text designed to appeal to a wide readership. Lavishly illustrated in colour, the book covers the area extending from Gordano to Ilchester and comprising its levels and moors out to the coast along and beyond Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve. Although the core of the book is wildlife and nature conservation its huge range encompasses rocks and fossils, archaeology, history, farming and the life of the people. A glimpse into possible futures brings it right up-to-date with the problems of global warming and managed retreat."

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Where to Watch Birds: Somerset, Avon & Gloucestershire

Ken Hall, John Govett

Christopher Helm

2004

"This new edition covers all of the best birding sites in the south-western counties of Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. This is a relatively undeveloped region of England, with some of the finest and most extensive ancient woodlands in the country. It also boasts some of the fine wetlands in the Somerset Levels, and many inland reservoirs, as well as upland areas, quality farmland and a varied coastline. This guide describes each site in terms of habitat, species, access, timing and calendar, enabling all birders to get the best out of any birding excursion in the region at any time of the year."

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The Birds of Exmoor And The Quantocks

David K. Ballance & Brian D. Gibbs

Illustrations: Tom Raven & Brian Slade Isabelline Books

2003

"This avifauna covers Exmoor National Park, the remainder of West Somerset, and is the first comprehensive survey to include the Quantocks. It contains a review of all published information since 1800 as well as professional surveys of recent years. It includes a review of ornithology in the area, an extensive list of references, the systematic list, escapes and exotics, rejected records, a gazetteer with map references and an index."

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The Flora and Fauna of Exmoor National Park: A Natural History Check-List

Editor: Caroline Giddens, John Robbins and Noel Allen

Exmoor Natural History Society

1996

Systematic lists of the flora and fauna of Exmoor.

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Where to Watch Birds: Somerset, Avon & Gloucestershire

Ken Hall, John Govett

Christopher Helm

1995

"One of a series of in-depth guides to birdwatching in different regions. Each book contains site accounts, plans, maps, lists of birds in the region and advice on planning birdwatching trips. This book on where to watch birds in Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire lists well over 70 individual sites in these counties which have consistently proved themselves to be excellent for birdwatching. New sites have been added, maps revised, site accounts re-written and all the information checked and re-checked."

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Exmoor Birds

Jonathan White

Exmoor Books

1994

"Descriptive list and status information of birds recorded on Exmoor."

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Birds Of Somerset

Somerset Ornithological Society

1988

250 page plus county avifauna with black and white photographs, line drawings and maps.

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Where to Watch Birds: Somerset, Avon & Gloucestershire

Ken Hall, John Govett

Christopher Helm

1988

"A survey of over 70 individual birdwatching sites across four counties. Major sites are included as well as a range of minor ones. There is a general introduction to the region's birdlife in a national context and then more detailed accounts of the local habitat and birds."

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The Natural History of the Somerset Levels

Bernard Storer

Dovecote Press

2nd edition

1985

"A guide to the bird life of Somerset in the first half of the 20th Century."

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The Birds In Exmoor National Park

N.V. Allen & R. Butcher

Alcombe Books

1984

Descriptive checklist with black and white photographs, maps and line drawings. Subsequently revised at least once.

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The Naturalist in Central Southern England: Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset

Derrick Knowlton

David & Charles

1973

240 pages with b/w photographs and maps.

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The Birds Of Exmoor

N.V. Allen

The Exeter Press

1971

Descriptive checklist with black and white photographs, maps and line drawings. Subsequently revised at least once.

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The Birds Of Somerset

E.M. Palmer, D.K. Ballance

Longmans

1968

"An account of the history and present distribution of birds in the county."

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The Breeding Birds of Somerset and their Eggs

Stanley Lewis

A.H.Stockwell Ltd

1955

"A guide to the bird life of Somerset in the first half of the 20th Century."

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Bird Haunts In Southern England

G.K. Yeates

Faber & Faber

1946

Main contents are: Norfolk reed-beds; Crossbills in Brekland; Salisbury Plain; Dorset Heathland; Southern Woodland; Orchard and Pasture in Somerset; Sedgemoor; An Exmoor Coomb; The Black Redstarts of Lowestoft.

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The Birds of Somersetshire

Cecil Smith

John Van Voorst

1869

From the preface:

"I am quite aware that a good deal has been written about the uselessness of mere local ornithological histories, and perhaps to a certain extent rightly, as a mere list of the birds that fly over or occasionally visit any particular county is certainly of very little use ; but, on the other hand, some account of the nature and habits of the various birds belonging to a county, or even to a smaller division, such as a parish, cannot help being interesting to the inhabitants, especially perhaps to the younger portion of them; for Ornithology, and indeed all Natural History, begins, like Charity, at home : the boy chases the butterfly in his own garden, or robs the bird's nest in his fathers shrubbery or orchard, - perhaps makes a collection of the objects that mostly excite his attention, - and thus an interest in these subjects first arises ; and for this reason some account of the various species he is likely to meet with, and of their habits and propensities, is sure to be acceptable: therefore, as there is no History of the Birds of Somerset at present in existence, I shall make no apology for writing one, but only wish that the subject had fallen into the hands of one with more spare time to enable him to do justice to it."
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Last updated August 2013