T & A D Poyser. London. (2005) (160 x 240mm). Pp344. Colour photograph plates, b/w vignette illustrations of birds, bibliography. Dark green boards, spine titled in gilt. Mint in good dust-wrapper.
Britain's position on the edge of the Western Palearctic means that it receives a relatively high number of vagrant birds from both east and west. The islands to the extreme north and west, and the full length of the east coast, are particularly favoured, and the many 'twitchers' who patrol key sites in these places during migration time are hoping to find rarities - but most of all each would like to find a bird never before recorded in Britain - a 'first'. Since 1980, a total of 76 bird species have been found for the first time in Britain. Each individual, although hopelessly lost and quite possibly doomed, has brought birding celebrity for its finder, and a swarm of admirers to view the bird itself. This new book is the successor to Birds New to Britain and Ireland by Sharrock and Grant (Poyser, 1982), which covered the new birds discovered between 1958 and 1980. The accounts of each new bird's finder are reproduced from their original sources (mainly from British Birds and Birding World). This is fascinating reading for everyone who has an interest in migration and vagrancy, has made the journey to see any of the birds concerned, or has ever dreamed of finding a 'first'' of their own. "This book.. will send many tingles of excitement through the older troops who witnessed some of these remarkable birds." British Birds "A nostalgia-fest for keen twitchers and a tantalising read for anyone who hopes to find a first of their own one day." Birdwatch