The Birds of Guernsey by Tony Bisson, Roy Carré and Mike Cunningham went on sale on 21st October selling 1,000 copies very quickly. A further 1,500 copies were ordered to ensure that there would be enough stocks leading up to Christmas.
Tony Bisson has been recording birds since the 1950’s and has produced a printed list approximately every 13 years. Mike and Roy were looking for an outlet for their extraordinary photographs, taken within the Bailiwick, and so managed to talk Tony into helping them produce this book as they felt sure the list of recorded sightings would provide a more scientific and authoritative publication.
Tony became interested in Guernsey’s birdlife as a teenager back in the 1950s little knowing then that it would become a lifetime passion. His first A List of the Birds of Guernsey was published In 1976 and updated versions were published in 1989 and 2002. He hopes that this latest comprehensive list of the Island’s birds will be a useful source of information for people who already enjoy this wonderful hobby and perhaps more importantly stimulate an interest in others to become involved.
Tony believes that, as human activity in the island intensifies, it is essential that more of us become aware of the detrimental effect it has on our birds and do our utmost to protect them and their precarious environment. It is important that we as birdwatchers and photographers set a good example to others in this respect and it is, therefore, considered appropriate to include a code of conduct for birdwatchers and photographers in this book.
This new book’s list, a revision and update of the 2002 list, includes records to 30th September 2015. It has relied heavily on the ornithological reports published in the Société Guernesiaise’s annual Transactions by Mark Lawlor (2002–2014). Further information came from Guernsey Birds, the invaluable website maintained by Phil Atkinson, Mark Lawlor and Jamie Hooper, on behalf of the Ornithological Section of La Société.
The book lists species recorded in the geographical area of Guernsey, including Lihou, Herm, Jethou and the associated islets, rocks and waters. The status of each of the species has been indicated with reference to the main island of Guernsey unless stated otherwise in the text. All species which have been recorded in an apparently natural state, plus species which although introduced or escaped have developed a self-sustaining population, are included (exceptions are red-legged and grey partridge as there is doubt they have ever had self-supporting populations). A total of 322 species are listed, although 91 have been noted on ten or fewer occasions and are considered vagrants. There are currently probably 73 breeding species in Guernsey and at least 104 species have been recorded as breeding at one time or another.
The Birds of Guernsey is illustrated with 175 stunning colour photographs, all taken locally by Roy and Mike. Jersey readers will be pleased to be reminded what snowy owl and desert wheatear look like!
The new book is now available at selective outlets at a price of £12.50. The authors are hoping to raise a substantial sum of money for bird conservancy projects and you can help maximise this by purchasing your copy direct from one of them rather than through the retail outlets. All enquiries should initially be directed to Mike (details can be found here).