are perhaps one of the most difficult bird families to get to grips
with and, indeed, there is still much to learn about the taxonomic
status of many species/subspecies. This weighty book, published
is on hand for those birders wishing to learn more about gull distribution,
identification and, perhaps most importantly, moult patterns.
of Europe, Asia & North America contains authoritative text
concerning the identification of previously little known species/subspecies
of gulls and does an excellent job of conveying the subtle differences
to look for in the field with a combination of plates and numerous
photographs for each type. Each species has its own section in the
book with subsections including "identification", "moult",
"geographical variation" and "distribution and migration"
along with a distributional map which, for Thai birders, can prove
useful for predicting which species may be found in Thailand in
Whilst the body
of the book deals with the many species of gulls, there is also
a useful introduction which gives general advice on which features
to look for in gull identification, including notes on how to age
gulls and recognize hybrids.
guide is perhaps too large to carry around for most birders, its
size is certainly not prohibitive to those specialising in gulls
and it is an essential source of information for birders hoping
to identify gulls as they travel worldwide.
are few problems with this publication, perhaps one of the only
criticisms I could level at it is that there could be more use of
comparative illustrations to help separate similar species, although
there is a section near the beginning of the book which compares
large gulls. One other slight downfall of this book is that it was
perhaps published too early and with an already increased knowledge
of gull taxonomy, it is already slightly outdated in parts.
aside, "Gulls" is certainly by far the best source of
information on this group of difficult species available and is
a superb book which requires a lot of reading in order to get the
most out of it.
of Europe, Asia & North America is one
of the best bird guides I have used and birders throughout the world
would do well to add it to their collection.
With the lack
of information on gulls in both Robson
and Lekagul & Round,
Gulls is an essential addition to the library for birdwatchers hoping
to get to grips with Thailand's gulls. This guide is almost essential
if planning a trip to the sand spit at Laem
Pak Bia in winter.