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inyathi
Posted (edited)

I didn't wish to further hijack @michael-ibk's Fourth Year thread with a long post about bird apps so I thought I'd start a new thread.

 

@Galana Thanks, funny I sometimes refer to Birds of Africa South of the Sahara as the tsetse killer.

 

On 10/5/2019 at 11:47 AM, Galana said:

No but the bloody ancilliaries such as Charger, Adapter, leads et al do!

Never had a book with a flat battery. Or killed a Tsetse with an App.:D

 

Good luck in Zambia. I will be following in December.

 

Yes but the point is I’m taking an iPad anyway, so they add no extra weight at all to my luggage, and it means that I have got a backup library of books, that I can consult back in camp during siesta time or in the evening if I need to, because  I saw a bird I really wasn’t sure about. I didn’t buy the iPad in order to use it for bird apps, I do a small amount of photo viewing on my iPad, I have music on it, I now write a certain amount on it, although I still use a paper notebook for keeping a very brief daily diary. Being old fashioned I still take two or three paperback books to read on safari, however, Amazon have a free app to allow you to read books on an iPad, I might get it, then I can buy e-books from them, that would save me some weight, and with e-books you can buy books that haven't been published in the UK, a while back I read some novels by an Australian author Peter Watt, his paperbacks aren't published in the UK, but I can buy e-book versions here.    

 

I’ve not so far had a problem with the iPad’s battery or with recharging even when out in the wilderness and I can only charge from a car, charging in camps/lodges isn't usually a big deal even if you cant always do it in your own room, I tend to assume that charging could well be a problem, if one has quite a lot of devices, but then I find that actually it isn't really. Having said all of that, there are a lot of things I really don’t like about having an iPad, which I didn’t appreciate before I bought mine, but as far as I’m aware there isn’t a laptop that weighs as little as my large size iPad.  What I really like about the app version of S & F is that you just tap an image and it enlarges it and you can say select two birds and compare them side by side and enlarge the maps, one of things I really don’t like about Birds of Africa South of the Sahara is that some of the maps are just too small, there isn’t an app version or not yet but if there was, I could then enlarge the maps, that would be very useful for those birds with a very small distribution. The other thing with apps is they have recordings of bird calls, not for all species, but for most of them and as they are updated some of the previously missing calls will be added.  

 

If you don’t already have a suitable electronic device then I wouldn’t necessarily get one just in order to be able to use birding apps, but a smaller sized iPad or even just smart phone doesn’t weigh very much at all, the power lead weighs very little, I have an adapter anyway for recharging camera batteries in countries where I need one, the iPad’s lead is just a USB cable inserted into a plug, so  I could actually remove the plug and leave that at home, because my travel adapter has USB sockets on it, having said that for my next safari in Zambia they use UK plugs/sockets, so I won’t need the adapter. My iPad which is the largest sized model, its leather case and the power lead weigh just 840 grams, so it's not added that much weight to my camera bag. 

 

@offshorebirder

I've just seen three mammal apps, The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion, Mammal Guide of Southern Africa and Stuart's SA Mammals 5th Ed. I'll get the last of these because it's coverage has been extended beyond Southern Africa to cover Angola, Zambia., Malawi and northern Mozambique, which the other two don't cover, I normally just take my old Kingdon Pocket Guide; but it doesn't have tracks and droppings in it,  getting Stuart's as an app means it also has mammal sounds. So when I go to Zambia I'll likely just have one actual book, The Birds of Africa South of the Sahara, but I hope the Birds of Zambia app plus two more bird guides and a mammal guide on my iPad, that's saving me a lot of weight and go down the e-book route that will save more weight and space in my luggage. On my Zambia trip I don't have an issue with weight limits because I'm only flying internationally, but I still like to pack as lightly as possible, I can't see the point of taking piles of stuff even when I'm not subject to a 15 kg weight limit. 

 

If you do take a stack of field guides, you find that many of the camps/lodges your staying in have copies of them in their libraries anyway, so you could have left yours at home.       

 

On 10/5/2019 at 7:57 AM, xelas said:

@inyathi what iPad source of bird info do you recommend for Uganda? I know @Galana will have his paper book arsenal with him, but I would like to have something less heavy (to offset for camera weight :D).

Also, would you be so kind and post links to all of the apps you are using? Or sent them by PM. Many thanks in advance!

 @xelas
 

When I say apps, they are app versions of existing bird books, I guess what makes them an app is that they have recordings of bird calls and they allow you to do things like create a list of the birds you’ve seen and so on, as opposed to say an e-book which is just a book in an electronic format. All I have as I type at the minute, is Stevenson and Fanshawe’s Birds of East Africa, but I intend to get SASOL Birds of Southern Africa, these are both apps, whereas the Birds of Ghana for example is available as an e-book, that means it’s just like having the book on your iPad or other device, it is exactly the same as the paperback, when looking at one of the plates you can enlarge it to take slightly closer look at a bird but that’s it. It's really no different to having a reading book on your device.

 

I haven’t done a very thorough exploration of birding apps, so I don’t know what else is available besides versions of some of the bird books we already use, for Africa so far you can get app versions of Stevenson & Fanshawe and three Southern Africa books, SASOL, Roberts and Newman’s.  The number of bird apps for around the world is gradually increasing, for anyone interested in using apps I found the following website, although I think it needs updating.

 

Bird Apps of the World – A List of All Field Guide Apps for Apple and Android Devices

 

I also found this site which is interesting although it only has a few apps for Africa.

 

Sunbird Images

 

What really interests me, is that when I visited Ecuador in South America some years back, I took a book called the Birds of Northern South America, it’s two volumes and I just bought the one containing the plates and the maps, if I’d bought and taken both, I’d have needed to hire a porter to carry them, I’ve now just seen that you can get a whole series of six separate apps based on this book, there’s All Birds Guianas, All Birds Colombia, All Birds Ecuador, All Birds Northern Peru, All Birds Venezuela and All Birds Northern Brazil. I would hope that somebody might do the same thing with say Birds of Africa South of the Sahara and produce a series of apps based on this book, although maybe it won’t be necessary once the Zambian Birds app is available and if an app version of the Birds of Western Africa is produced.

 

I was also interested looking at apps on the African Bird Club website that they are actually producing a whole series of free African bird apps that will eventually cover the entire continent, they’ve evidently only started on this recently and have just completed the first one, which is the Birds of Mauritius, well I guess that was an easy place to start as it doesn’t have too many birds.   

 

For me as I’ve said the great advantage of these apps is that if you are installing them on a device that you already have and take with you on trips, then they weigh nothing. For birders going to Ecuador the book of choice was The Birds of Ecuador a Field Guide, calling this book a field guide is something of a stretch it weighs in at around 1.6 kgs and it’s actually one of two volumes, I don’t know how many people bothered to buy the companion volume The Birds of Ecuador Status, Distribution and Taxonomy, but I would guess the two books together would weigh just over 3kgs. Most people would just have the field guide volume and many of them would actually cut the book up, because the plates are separate from the text, take it to a book binder and get them to make it into two volumes, then when you are out in the field you just carry the plates.  

 

The Birds of Ecuador is now available as an app, I don’t know but I presume it’s just the field guide and you don’t get both volumes. There is now also a new guide from Helm Field Guides, Birds of Ecuador, I presume it is somewhat lighter but how much I don’t know, it can’t be too light it covers 1,630 species.           

 

You can get I think all of the apps I've mentioned, either from Apple's app store or Google Play's app store. 

 

If you simply want to download bird calls to put on your device then you can find free recordings from all over the world on Xeno-Canto

 

I'd be interested to hear about any other wildlife apps that others use or just general views on apps for birding and other wildlife. 

Edited by inyathi

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xelas

Thanks a ton, @inyathi, very useful reply.

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janzin

Well I didn't see the initial discussion on this but here's my 2 cents on birding apps in general:

 

I do own several but their primary use for me is for calls. I don't find them very useful for ID purposes UNLESS one is pretty sure of the ID to begin with.

 

Having the calls is fantastic.  I may think "was that a Winding or Rattling Cisticola" so I can play the call and say, oh yeah, it was actually Zitting :)  Or if I have a target species in an area, I can familiarize myself with the call and then listen for it.

 

Its also just nice to read the details about a bird after seeing it that day. Of course this can be done with a book too but easier in a tent at night to just look it up on my iPad. The fact that the iPad is self-lit is a HUGE advantage on safari!

 

BUT...apps are just are nearly impossible to "browse" through looking for that unidentified bird you just saw, especially in a new country where you might not even be able to narrow it down to family. An app just can't compare to flipping through pages in a physical book "what was that green bird with a white eyebrow" or even worse, that "LBJ with a streaky chin and maybe a wingbar or maybe not..."  Some apps have a "smart search" but I find them pretty useless.
 

So even when I have the app I almost always still bring the physical book. So in MOST cases having the app does NOT save me weight. The only exception is if its not really a birding trip.

 

I have the SASOL Birds of Southern Africa app, the eGuide to Birds of East Africa, and the Morcombe & Stewart Guide to Australia...all of these are by the same company, My Digital Earth, and they are excellent. They have a nice feature where you can narrow down by country or area, so for instance only see the birds in Top End Australia rather than the whole country. But I didn't buy their eguide to India because it doesn't include the calls, so no real advantage for me.

 

For the USA I have iBird Pro which is my favorite, again, rarely used for ID here, but just for calls.

 

 

 

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Galana

@janzin has it as I like it. You can do lots with a physical book that no App can do. As the lady says you can flip and browse through pages looking for something that resembles what you think you saw or have on the camera. I don't think apps are that way inclined. You have to know what bird it is/might be to home in on variants.

5 hours ago, inyathi said:

Most people would just have the field guide volume and many of them would actually cut the book up, because the plates are separate from the text, take it to a book binder and get them to make it into two volumes, then when you are out in the field you just carry the plates.  

Partially guilty as charged. Except I just used a craft knife, sliced up the book, and stuck it back together with sticky tape. One part travelled and one stayed behind.

 

Each to their own of course. Despite what @xelas suggests I don't resemble a Mobile library when out there. Only Sinclair for Zambia for me. Not perfect but neither am I.  SASOL does not cover Zambia. My dear wife does not really bird but does lug along a few "Silly novels" to keep her amused in flight and when relaxing. It's amazing what I can slip into the pile without her knowing.

Another companion is very much into such IT stuff. (When checking into a lodge he is not so much bothered about 'which room and where is the key?' His first question at reception is invariably "What's the #WIFFY password?" as he is bereft if there is no contact with the outside world.

Between them I have some very willing porters and they come quite cheap too!:D

Then of course there is my driver/guide. Most come fully fitted out.

@xelas has yet to see me out in the field. He has that joy to come next February when he will no doubt be amazed at how little I actually carry. Sun hat, bins and camera. Anything else is charged extra.

 

Good thread. I enjoyed it.

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janzin
Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Galana said:

Partially guilty as charged. Except I just used a craft knife, sliced up the book, and stuck it back together with sticky tape. One part travelled and one stayed behind.

 that's exactly what I did with my Birds of Ecuador book :)

 

BTW, the other thing I do with all my bird books is make a "back cover index." (This is going off-topic a bit.) But I make up an index of the most important species or groups that will fit on the back cover, then completely cover it with tape (so water/smudge proof.) That way one doesn't have to page through a big index or even open the book to find or at least get close to the species. Usually use plate numbers instead of page numbers.  Happy to share any I have although sometimes folks in Europe, for example, have different editions so the pages won't match up.

 

There's a Dutch birder who has several of these that he's made on his web site, many are from older book editions but sometimes I just use one and adjust the pages.

http://www.jvanderw.nl/tripreports/indexesfieldguides.html

Edited by janzin

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inyathi
Posted (edited)

@GalanaThe fact that SASOL doesn’t cover Zambia, is precisely the point of having the app because it weighs nothing, rather than taking the actual book, which does weigh something, especially when it’s one that doesn’t cover the country you’re going to. When I went to Zakouma the first time I took Birds of Africa South of the Sahara and the second time BOWA and that time I had the S & F app as well, because there are only about half a dozen bird species in Zakouma that aren’t in S & F, so having the app made sense, whereas having the book made no sense because I had a 15 kg weight limit for my flight in and out of the park and obviously it doesn't have the bird calls that the app has. 

 

@janzin I agree with your earlier post, that’s why what I’m advocating is having apps purely as an alternative to taking two different bird books, I would never advocate taking no book at all and just apps at least for birds.

 

When I went to Ecuador I’d never been to South America before, I’d just spent two weeks in California and Nevada doing only a little birding, so I had very limited knowledge of American birds and knew little about the Neotropical species, save for a few of the most well known species, you see in nature documentaries and in captivity. My head was full of African and Eurasian birds and I had to familiarise myself with a whole lot of completely unfamiliar bird names and bird families, until they started rearranging the order of bird books, I used to think I could flick through any African bird book and quickly find the right pages, with the Birds of Northern South America, if I wanted to look up a bird I’d just seen, at first I had no idea what it might be or where to even look in the book. Going to South America for the first time an app instead of the book would have been worse than useless, now I’m much more familiar with South American birds, I would know which family or families to look at and roughly where to find them in the book. When I visited Guyana, I had Ber Van Perlo’s Birds of Brazil, the illustrations are fairly poor and the maps weren’t exactly that much use, but it has almost all of the birds in it, bar a couple and there wasn’t a Guyanan book, but we did also have the Birds of Northern South America which does cover Guyana. The point would be that if were going to Guyana now I could take the Birds of Brazil or actually more likely the (2017) Birds of Venezuela because I’m sure it’s a much better book and then have the app All Birds Guianas, the app would then cover the very few birds that aren’t in the Venezuela book as well as having rather more useful maps that actually cover Guyana. Although in that case the illustrations in the book and the app would be the same ones by Robin Restall, so I wouldn’t have the advantage of having a different set of illustrations. That’s really the point of having the S & F app in Zambia, I can look up a bird in Birds of Africa South of the Sahara, narrow it down to a possible species or two or at least to the likely family and then looking it up on the app will be no problem.  In any case I’d like to think that by now I know my African birds well enough that using the app, I would know which families to be looking at, so finding the right birds to look at wouldn’t be a big problem, for South America it would be much more difficult, if you really have no clue then a book is going to be easier.

 

It’s really all about having a second opinion, after all what prompted this discussion was comparing the picture of a female blue-throated brown sunbird in BOWA with that in S & F, they’re so different they could be two entirely different birds.   

 

With mammals none of this is really an issue because I like to think I know all of the larger species, well enough to not really need a book, I take the Kingdon Pocket guide just for small species like squirrels and bats and some of the more obscure less well known species, that one might see in countries like Gabon or Ghana or some other off the beaten track country,  I reckon with the mammals app looking anything up should be no problem, because I would hope to know the family, I don’t need to flick through as I might with a bird book,

 

I have now bought both SASOL and the Stuart’s mammals app, but I haven’t had a chance to really look at either, but when I've had a proper look at them, I will report back.             

Edited by inyathi

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Kitsafari

such an interesting and most helpful thread! (not only for those interested in birds, but also for mammals since this was touched on in the first post).

 

 thank you @inyathi for starting this. I'm off to my ipad to download some of the apps you and @janzin mentioned. weight is a problem for me as I can't carry too much on my weak lower back, so inevitably I shoot first, then come home to check the IDs before I ask for help on ST. 

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janzin

The agree with @inyathi that its less critical to have a paper book for mammals. Generally one can find the species you need in an app or even e-book. I purchased the Stuart's Mammal guide as an e-book (Kindle) as it wasn't available as an app at the time, I don't think. And generally the Kindle book is cheaper (I think I paid about $12.00 for the e-book vs $23 for the app.)  The e-book was fine although if I were buying it today, maybe I'd get the app since it has sounds and videos too. I wish these apps weren't so expensive, in some cases as much as the book or more!

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Soukous

Sadly, IMO, there are very few good apps out there for birds of Africa, and for other areas - India, Middle East and even UK - there are no really good ones. 

It is a constant source of irritation that the RSPB app is such rubbish.

 

The 2 best ones I have used are the Roberts and SASOL for Southern Africa. Personally I think that anyone developing a birding app would do well to emulate the Roberts one.

My favourite (that's favorite to you @janzin :P) feature on the Roberts app is one that allows to to look at similar birds side by side. Of course you can do this with the book when the species are on the same page, but it is useful for species that may not be listed close to each other.

 

My particular grips is with apps that are just a digital version of the book. They are next to useless when on safari. 

The HELM Field Guide for East Africa is a great book, but the app is dreadful. 

Likewise the HELM Field Guide for the Indian Sub Continent is a decent book - although it needs the illustrations updated a bit - but the app is useless. 

 

I like books, I like maps too and whilst apps make these things much easier (lighter) to carry around and you can take several apps for a lot less weight than 1 book, they are just not as quick to use when you in the Field. 

Where they do come into their own is that the good ones (Roberts, SASOL) have a small selection of photographs as well as the illustration, which is really useful for species that have regional variations of plumage and - as has already been mentioned, the calls.

 

I have not had to kill too many tsetse flies with my bird books but the best feature of all is that you can drop them out of the vehicle and they still work. 

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Galana
16 minutes ago, Soukous said:

I have not had to kill too many tsetse flies with my bird books but the best feature of all is that you can drop them out of the vehicle and they still work

I like these robust multiple use devices too. Even on a wet day you can play party games by passing them to other players gripped between your knees or throw them at the dog in extremis. Prop open the window or jam the bedroom door closed at night.^_^

And don't forget my advice above

19 hours ago, Galana said:

Between them I have some very willing porters and they come quite cheap too!:D

Then of course there is my driver/guide. Most come fully fitted out.

The IT fanatic carries the full Kingdon in book form. That's what real friends are FOR. (I like to read up on smaller critturs too.)

 

I am sure Apps have their place, just like Cisticolas.

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Tdgraves

So the reverse question. If I get the ebirds of east Africa app, what book should I get to go with it to take to Kenya?

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offshorebirder
23 hours ago, janzin said:

BUT...apps are just are nearly impossible to "browse" through looking for that unidentified bird you just saw, especially in a new country where you might not even be able to narrow it down to family.

 

@janzin - The Sasol App (and certain others) have a function called "Gallery View".    Try that for scrolling along looking for a "mystery bird."

 

 

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janzin
7 hours ago, Soukous said:

is one that allows to to look at similar birds side by side.

 

You can do that with the SASOL app too, using the "compare" feature.

 

Yes, Gallery view is better than nothing but its still not as easy as flipping through the pages of a book, if you don't know what you are looking for ;)

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inyathi

I’ve had a bit of a look at the Stuart’s mammals app and I think it is pretty good, interestingly for some species it has a recording of a call, so you get a roaring lion, and a sawing leopard, fighting baboons and so on but then for quite a few other species there’s a video of the animals instead, I quite like the videos, calls for mammals aren’t as important as for birds so you don’t need calls for all of them and I imagine that recording some species would be difficult, for a lot of species it doesn’t have a call or a video. Since it is intended to cover all of Southern Africa’s mammals, they decided to include an entry for modern humans, with a photo of the authors in the wild in Kasanka NP in Zambia, with a recording of some random human chatter, I suppose this adds a bit of amusement. What doesn’t impress me is that it is a photographic guide and suffers from the problem that all such guides suffer from, that is that they were not able to obtain photos of all of the species covered. In the case of a good few of the squirrels for example, they just have photos of museum skins taken from above, as they presumably couldn’t find shots of the live squirrels. The Issue I have with this, is that for all of the whales and dolphins and some other mammals they have illustrations and, in some cases, both illustrations and photos, I don’t know why they couldn’t have had illustrations of these various squirrels, alongside the photos of skins, and the same for other species for which they just have a photo of a skin. In one case for Ansorge’s cusimanse a type of mongoose, they just have a silhouette, this hardly matters because it’s not a species anyone’s likely to see, it’s a species that basically occurs in the DRC and in the region covered at just one location in Angola but nobody really knows much about it in Angola, it just surprises me that there isn’t even an illustration.

 

Really what I like about this app is the distribution maps and the tracks and droppings, it also has good information although of course the amount of information on each species varies, that was one of the reasons I use to like taking the Kingdon Field Guide was for the text, but I decided that the second edition that I have is too heavy and the Pocket Guide has very little information. Amongst the information it lists the best places to see the species, except for some species where it says none known. I think overall, it’s pretty good, whether it really is worth the price I’m not wholly sure, especially if you already have a mammals book, but as someone who likes mammals as much as birds, I’m glad to have it. I wouldn’t have bought the book version as camps/lodges nearly always have at least one mammals book in their library and will quite likely be one by the Stuarts.

 

@Tdgraves

For Kenya there really is only one good alternative to S & F and that’s the Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania, I don’t think it’s as good a book as S & F, but if you want two books then it’s these two. There really are no other decent books, the old Collins Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa by John Williams is about the worst bird book I have ever used anywhere, Birds of Eastern Africa by Ber Van Perlo is a pretty awful book by today’s standards, but still a vast improvement on Williams’s book. The main problem with Van Perlo is the illustrations are too small, rather poor and too crowded, I’ve just read a review of an updated version on Amazon, I don’t know when it was updated but rather than get Ber Van Perlo to redo some of the illustrations, because he’d made mistakes, like say getting the eye the wrong colour, they instead decided to just point out these mistakes in the text, which is pretty ridiculous.  

 

I would maybe suggest you get the Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania to use alongside the S & F app and don't buy the book version of S & F now, because by far the best book for Kenya and East Africa, will be the second edition of S & F, but unfortunately it’s publication date has been moved on to Oct 2020, it was supposed to be due out this year, I hope the delay just means it will be an even better book. I presume that they will then update the app as well, but otherwise the new edition of S & F would be my book of choice, although course I haven't seen it and it's bound to be a little bit heavier.           

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Tdgraves

Thanks @inyathi maybe I should just stick with the app then?

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TonyQ

@Tdgraves

We took the Birds of Kenya and North Tanzania (Helm by Zimmerman et al).

We have mixed feelings about it. Distribution maps and more detailed text are separate from the illustrations (though there is some text with the illustrations). Although this was annoying at first, we got used to it - the page to turn to for more information are clearly labelled. Not ideal, but didn't feel like a problem after using it for a while.

The illustrations themselves are variable. Some of them are good but a few of them are not very clear.

Our guides seemed to use The Birds of East Africa (Stevenson and Fanshaw). We didn't use this book to check maps or use the text in detail (so I don't know how the book works from that point of view), but looking at the illustrations, I though that for some birds at least, the illustrations were clearer than in our book.

I have not used a birding App so cannot really comment on that

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inyathi
Posted (edited)

@Tdgraves

 

I’m not quite sure why, as my original copy is sat next to my computer, but I didn’t mention Birds of Africa South of the Sahara, this is I think not a bad book and obviously covers Kenya. When they produced the first edition that came out in 2003 to cut costs and save time, they simply recycled a lot of illustrations from SASOL and elsewhere, rather than commission a full set of entirely new illustrations for all of the species covered. As a consequence, at least a few of the illustrations were, certainly from an artistic standpoint pretty poor, on some plates they had really good illustrations next to very poor ones, this really didn’t look great. For the newer edition they commissioned the main artist Norman Arlott to produce 500 new illustrations, he’s a much better bird artist now than when he illustrated Williams’s book, so while the newer edition still has illustrations by three different artists, they’ve made sure that each family and each plate is done by the same artist, so the styles aren’t mixed up anymore. this is a huge improvement on the original, however, just because illustrations look great, doesn't mean they are necessarily accurate, I think quite a few serious birders have criticised the accuracy of some of the pictures. The number of bird species has gone up a bit since the first book, because of recent splits, a consequence of this, is that it is an even heavier book, it weighs in at 1.4 kgs. It is in my view really more of a book for the car to use on game drives or road journeys, not a book to take on walks at least not lengthy walks. Although I’m sure I will put that to the test in Zambia, as it is the only decent book for Zambia. I have a fabric pouch/bag attached to my belt in which I carry my bird book, then I’m not carrying the book in my hand the whole time and I’ve got somewhere to put it when I’m using binoculars or taking photos, but I also have my camera in a pouch on my belt, so I might look at alternative arrangements for carrying my camera, but that's getting further off topic. 

 

Besides its weight, the main problem with the book, is that for example you’ve got 82 different sunbirds on 13 plates, but fewer than half of them occur in Kenya, so if that’s where you are birding, you got a lot of extra sunbirds to look through to find the one you've just seen, this means it takes that bit longer to find birds. Some of the maps are also really just too small for me. If you are not doing a lot of walking or don’t have a lot of camera gear or other stuff to carry, then this might not be a bad book to have in conjunction with the S & F app, because then you can refer to its maps if the one you want to look at in Birds of Africa south of the Sahara is too small.

 

Of the two books if you are birding in either Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda or Burundi then S & F has to be the better choice because it only covers these countries and therefore doesn’t have so many birds in it that you’re not going to see. Certainly S & F is the book that all the guides in East Africa use. The great thing about Birds south of the Sahara is just the fact that it covers countries like Zambia and Malawi, that are neither in East Africa or Southern Africa and are therefore left out of all the other books, except for Ber Van Perlo’s Southern Africa book, Newman did produce a book the Birds of Malawi but this was just a slim volume designed to be used as a supplement to his Southern African book, not a great solution for that country, not surprisingly it’s no longer in print.     

Edited by inyathi

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Tdgraves

Thanks @inyathi and @TonyQ

i guess i’ll Just see what Santa brings and then decide!

 

p.s. Tony - your big year entries have already got me excited for our trip next year...

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Carolyn

holy moly! so much good info here, thank you!

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Soukous
On 10/8/2019 at 12:25 AM, inyathi said:

I would maybe suggest you get the Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania to use alongside the S & F app and don't buy the book version of S & F now

 

I just worked out that what @inyathi calls S&F is the same book as I call the HELM Field Guide to the birds of East Africa.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the book is fab, but I am far from impressed with the app. Compared to the Roberts and SASOL apps it is very very basic and not at all intuitive. 

I find the book much easier to work with.

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janzin
3 hours ago, Soukous said:

I just worked out that what @inyathi calls S&F is the same book as I call the HELM Field Guide to the birds of East Africa.

As I mentioned earlier, I think the book is fab, but I am far from impressed with the app. Compared to the Roberts and SASOL apps it is very very basic and not at all intuitive. 

I find the book much easier to work with.

 

That seems odd because I have both SASOL and the Birds of East Afric app and they work exactly the same, they are by the same company (mydigitalearth.com) and both have the same features.

 

 

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Soukous
19 hours ago, janzin said:

 

That seems odd because I have both SASOL and the Birds of East Afric app and they work exactly the same, they are by the same company (mydigitalearth.com) and both have the same features.

 

 

 

You are quite right. I think my estimation of the SASOL app was exaggerated because I only use it as a backup to the Roberts app when I need to see other illustrations. 

I've just looked at both the SASOL and the eGuide to Birds of East Africa and they are indeed very similar, and neither of them comes anywhere close to the Roberts Guide in terms of ease of use.

But then I guess we all get used to the app or book we use the most often and that tends to become the favourite. 

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