Hi Dave, a Happy New Year to you and Mrs Dave. It's been a while since you've been on and sorry no one has replied so far. As usual you've posed some tricky questions and I'm not sure that I can be of much help. Whether anyone else can remains to be seen.
One of the most useful sources for wildlife books on obscure subjects is NHBS based in Totnes, Devon. I don't know whether they have a store you can visit because most of their sales are online.
A quick search revealed only three books.
I suspect that the third one shown is the German feather atlas that Mrs Dave has already bought.
The only other one I've found is this one on Amazon, Also in German.
Not had much luck with Capercaillie either. The only two books I've found are here one of which is also in German.
Hopefully, someone with better knowledge might have suggestions.
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In reply to TeeJay:
You have done well TJ & just sorry that I can add nothing more to help!
But I would like to wish Happy New Year to D & Mrs D & say that I certainly would look forward to reading a blog about your bird sightings in Switzerland & seeing any pics you may have!
2013 photos & vids here
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In reply to WendyBartter:
Your two field guides are probably as good as it gets for the everyday birder,not sure many of us have feather i.d. books it seems to be something we learn as we go along and maybe by picking feathers up from under roosts.
Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can
Thank you Wendy, and a Happy New Year back to you.
I talked to my partner about the blog idea yesterday evening. Her answer? 'You need to work less: it suits you'. So I think that's a vote of confidence.
I can't promise photos, but Mrs. Dave did buy a Lumix around a year ago. Maybe she'll help out.
Just need to find the time...
In reply to Seaman:
I know you're right (in my heart I know you're right).
I remember a similar comment in response to a post I made about a 'What Birds Where' book and how useful it would be (along the lines of the Royal Horticultural Society's 'What Plants Where [When/etc.]' series).
Something like, it's just something you pick up along the way.
At the time, that idea seemed almost arcane. And now, a few years later, I find myself muttering 'Looks like Peregrine country to me...' or proclaiming 'If there isn't a Mistle thrush in there, I'm Sep Blatter!' (which is a huge risk if I'm wrong).
I thought about the home guide thing again recently when looking at a big guide/coffee table book that Mrs. Dave's team bought her (in French) a few years ago. I flipped it open at Peregrines (because of our Christmas Peregrine adventure; the culmination of eighteen months or so of searching the region). And I realized that, with the exception of one fact, it contained nothing that wasn't either in the Collins guide, in Forsman, or in our heads (from observing, or from other birders). Quite a funny experience for me.
Best regards -
In reply to Dave - CH:
I think the book from NHBS would fulfill your needs and there does not seem to be a great many books on the subject,as for field guides I am one of those who thinks you can never have too many decent ones.I still have my original 1954 Peterson field guide that cost me a full apprentices wages but as good as it was in its day I would not like to rely on it today.
I'm not certain about the legality of possession of feathers from certain birds maybe someone better informed knows.
Interesting blog about the Rackelhahn, Dave. I had no idea that there was a Capercaillie x Black Grouse hybrid. I came across this YouTube video of an aggressive Rackelhahn although to my non-expert eyes it looks just like a Black Grouse.
It reminded me of a Willow Grouse that we encountered on a trip to Finland. The bird was so pumped up with testosterone that it was determined to see us off. Made for good photo opportunities though.
I did find another book in the Helm identification series also on the NHBS site. I suspect it's a bit of overkill for what you want as it seems to cover Game birds from all over the world.
I don't know if you are into tablets but the Collins Birguide is available for an iPad. I'm not sure whether it contains any additional information over and above the book but it seems to offer search facilities and side by side comparisons. For a little extra you can also add videos.
I'm hoping they might produce a version for Android (my tablet) in which case I would probably download a copy.
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