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A Birdwatching Guide to Extremadura 2nd edition – I’m working on it!

John Muddeman
23/01/2013 11:05:10

This is a short note just to confirm that the second edition is under way and will be out as soon as possible (perhaps even towards the end of the spring?)

Posted in: Butterflies and Moths, Dragonflies and Damselflies, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals, Endangered Wildlife and Habitats | Castile-Leon, Extremadura | Mainland Spain, Western Spain, Central Spain

As you may know, the first edition of A Birdwatching Guide to Extremadura (then Arlequin Press) was published in the year 2000, and with only 2000 printed copies, ran out of stock after just a few years. Tragically, Nigel Eade of Arlequin died not long after and when the business was finally bought by Subbuteo Books, the files unfortunately disappeared for a while. When they resurfaced, we wrongly decided that a simple reprint didn’t make sense as I was aiming to update it imminently…

As you can imagine, since its publication and especially after it started to get scarce, I have received numerous enquiries regarding obtaining copies of the book, some about how expensive it is a collector’s item 2nd hand (I’ve just seen what’s probably the all-time record on Amazon!), and a few on specific points to improve regarding the first edition. (My thanks to you all and if anyone has positive suggestions to make regarding the 2nd edition, please let me know!). While in private I have tried hard over the years to provide the information necessary to plug the holes, it’s obvious that a new edition was needed. And especially when considering the large number of changes in knowledge regarding both the birds and accesses to different sites included in the first edition. E.g. Having been the first guide dedicated to the region, there are now several, though these often remain a bit difficult to obtain (especially in English) having been produced, and often not for sale, here in Spain.

With the Extremaduran authorities having placed special interest and making significant investments in birdwatching tourism in the region, the panorama has changed greatly, in some respects of course, over the last 10 years. Suffice it to say though, that the number of birds here, while changing –some for better and others for worse– are still outstanding on the European, and sometimes global scales. Other things, such as the ever-increasing number of resident and visiting observers, means that new sites and especially new species, continue to come to light and there is always scope for some important discoveries! As an aside, many good records have been and still continue to be lost, and if you have any records from trips that might be of interest, please get in touch so I can direct you to those who compile the bird records for the region and can save this information!

So, having finally seen a bit of a window this winter, I’m finally working on it, since it’s ‘now or never’ and I plan to get it out asap, despite a busy family life and unfortunately limited opportunities to get out and scout the sites. Indeed, as the first snow this winter falls thick and fast outside here in the W mountains of Madrid, it’s good to be sat at the computer mulling over exactly what and where to finally include. But as a taster of what I hope to finally put in, I’ve decided to include a few paragraphs in different blogs about the trips made to the region on my visits there and particular sites visited for possible inclusion, as well as some of the latest news. This will be largely cribbed from two sources: the GOCE forum (an outstanding Spanish-speaking forum on the birds of Extremadura) and associated BLOG, which publishes periodic reviews of the most interesting sightings and as well as species-specific articles, both of great interest, plus the Reservoir Birds website, which includes rare bird sightings from the country, including all regionally rare and scarce species (making it much more comprehensive than the also important Rare Birds in Spain site). My sincere thanks to all those involved in posting their sightings and making access to information infinitely easier than it was even 10 or 12 years ago.

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