Birds of Washington - Stan Tekiela

According to the receipt, I bought this on February 4 last year! I got it the last time I was in Seattle, so I could identify the various birds I was seeing while out there (as they were mostly completely different from what I'd seen at home!). This means I've been doing my limited dabbling in birdwatching for well over a year now. Time flies, I guess! I'm still not terribly good at it.

This is a pretty simple field guide. Nice and pocket-sized, with each bird covered on two facing pages - one big colourful photo, and then a list of facts and notes. There's always the question of how to organise such a book. Here, they've gone for organised by primary colour, and then by size. Mostly this is pretty intuitive, although there are some birds where you have to decide what the primary colour really is. Oh, and sometimes the same bird occurs on a couple of pages because the male and female are distinct colours. In any case, the structure works well.

Why did it take me a year to read? Well, it's a reference and not really compulsive reading. However, I plodded through it because it's kinda fascinating to see the variety of birds that exist several thousand miles away - for the most part they're very different, with a few world-wide classics chucked in. As usual, I can't vouch for the factual accuracy, but it did help me identify those species I did see, as well telling me about a hundred other species I didn't!

Posted 2019-02-02.