Saturday, 9 August 2008

Frontiers in Birding

When I saw the title 'frontiers in birding' I was keen to get hold of a copy of this book. Birding continues to rapidly evolve so I thought this would be an interesting read . To be honest I was a little surprised by the content. As far as I am concerned, (off the top of my head), the frontiers of birding at present are in several main areas. I suppose some people would not classify some of these things as birding but I would, so:

Global birding: the development of world birdwatching, world birding exploration, the progress towards completion of HBW, the completion of full sets of field guides for all areas in the world, the development of the commercial international bird tour industry , the formation of a global network of bird reserves, the move to completion and consensus on a full avian classification and taxonomy, continue lobbying for international bird conservation and the halt of extinctions etc.

Britain and Europe/West Palearctic: The development of WP birding, WP exploration, The growth of the regional bird tour industry, developments towards unification of Britain and other WP countries towards taxonomic consensus, the development of reserve networks unified under European policy, concerns over agricultural policy, lobbying for bird conservation, anti-hunting, etc

Britain: A moderate shift in focus towards a more global and regional perspective, UK exploration (off shore islands), concerns over worryingly low numbers of young people taking up the interest, the sound approach, the maturing of discerning the limits of identification and taxonomic consensus,

Methodology frontiers: The continuing revolution in digital photography, the continuing rapid expansion of Internet birding, birding blogs, the bird sound recording revolution led by the sound approach, taxonomic method developments such as nuclear DNA sampling, the maturing of bird art ,

Something like that anyway- I aint really given it much thought. Therefore I was a little surprised at the limited range of this book. Couldn't help thinking it was a bit old school, one for the old islanders but I suppose it is. Would be foolish to neglect the wisdom of the old boys and at first glance looks like there are some very interesting bits and bobs to flick through. Reflections in British Birding. well yes.... but 'Frontiers in Birding'-perhaps not the best title really. I am sure it will be a good read but just got me thinking to exactly what are the frontiers of birding.

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