My first ever large bird book that my Father bought me in 1959.

  • This was my first ever large hardback bird book that my Father bought me in 1959 below. As I’ve mentioned before my interest in birdwatching was in 1958 and I was born in 1952 and there are members on this forum who were birdwatching before me. In 1958 my book that caught my interest in birdwatching was the observers book of birds. A very small book. If anyone has an original first day publication of any of the Observer Books depending on the condition. They can be valuable if offered at an auction! This was my first ever large book about birdwatching that I ever bought. I’ve also got the Popular Handbook of Rarer British Birds bought by me as well in 1959 somewhere in my home as well. Interesting reading looking back. Wryneck’s were still nesting in parts of Kent. Also mentioned about Avocets nesting on Havergate Island in Suffolk the only place in the UK nesting at that time. Also mentioned about the one and only pair of Ospreys nesting at Loch Garten after there return as a nesting/breeding bird.. Marsh Harriers were very rare nesting birds at that time. Bitterns were in very small numbers, Golden Oriole’s  could be seen at various places nesting/breeding. interesting read. And of course now looking at my Collins hardback book along with the Collins App it shows the difference with the bird populations now and looking back at my first ever large bird book about Britains birds and the changes from 1959 to the present time in 2023!



  • Hi-

    I started on the Observers and bought the Handbook of Rarer BBs as a teenager-
    Then it was the Hamlyn and Cowards Birds of Britain and their eggs - finally a Peterson ( it was hard back and expensive for a teenager) Then Lars Jonsson appeared and that was that :)

    Phil Hollom was a really nice guy :)


    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • I have the same book. It’s terrific. 48 shillings well spent.

    I also had the Observer book. In its modest way, also very useful. Somewhere over the years, I have mislaid it.

    I had to wait a long, long time before I saw a wryneck.