Working for birds in Africa

Birds of Dar es Salaam. Common Birds of Coastal East Africa

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 23:56 -- abc_admin
Gudrun Wium-Andersen and Fiona Reid, illustrated by Allan Bramley. 2000. 106 pp, several maps and many colour plates. Aage V. Jensens Fonde, Denmark. ISBN 87-987586-1-6. No price provided. Obtainable from: Novel Idea, The Slipway, P O Box 76513, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, phone/fax: 2601088, or from Gudrun Wium-Andersen (e-mail: gudrun_wium_andersen@hotmail.com).
page 69

This relatively simple, but attractive and nicely produced, pocket-sized guide to the birds of the Dar es Salaam region appears to be aimed at beginner birders and those with a relatively casual interest in birds (given some of the introductory material which effectively provides some basic information on how to get started as a birder). For such people, birding anywhere within central coastal East Africa, the work under review will prove a handy accompaniment on their travels, and a more easily carried and less confusing alternative to the Zimmerman et al field guide to Kenya and northern Tanzania. Species names in this book follow the latter for ease of comparison and cross-reference. One hundred and thirteen species are illustrated in colour and described in brief facing-page, or same page, texts. While the illustrations do not meet the standards of the best bird artists most appear sufficient for field recognition purposes. Vocalisations are presented for many species, a comparatively advanced but praiseworthy feature of the guide. More experienced birders will, I'm sure, still prefer to carry the well-reviewed Zimmerman guide (or at least its paperback version), but even they may find the section describing birding sites in and around Dar es Salaam and the 470-species-strong checklist for this area of use.

Guy M. Kirwan

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