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Book review: Finding Birds in Ireland: The Complete Guide, 2nd Edition

Finding Birds in IrelandPublished in 2007, the first edition of “Finding Birds in Ireland: The Complete Guide” by Eric Dempsey and Michael O’Clery soon became the definitive guide to the best birdwatching locations in Ireland. Intelligently laid out, and impressively comprehensive, this widely praised book set a new benchmark for this type of “where to watch” field guide.

You’ll find my review of the first edition of the book here.

New and improved 2nd edition

Fast-forward a few years, and while the first edition remains an extremely useful guide, it is inevitably starting to show its age.

In 2014 publishers Gill and Macmillan decided to address that by releasing a revised 2nd edition. While the structure of the book remains largely unchanged, with sites arranged sensibly by region and county , the details for individual sites have been updated where necessary to reflect changes in relation to directions and access, bird species to look out for and where and when to look for them. It also includes more sites than the original, covering 550 as opposed to the “more than 400” covered in the earlier volume.

Building on the strengths of the original, this new edition takes one of the best “where to watch” guides on the market (not just in Ireland, but anywhere) and makes it better.  I have no doubt it will pick up where its predecessor left off as an indispensable boon to experienced Irish birdwatchers heading off-patch, those getting started with birding who are keen to venture further affield, and of course visiting bird watchers looking for details of the best birding locations for their trip.

As I mentioned in the earlier review, this book is the next best thing to having a local bird guide with you. If you want the inside track on Ireland’s best birding and wildlife sites then this is a book you’ll want on your wildlife bookshelf — or perhaps in your car glove box.

You can buy “Finding Birds in Ireland: The Complete Guide” at all good bookshops in Ireland, many in the UK, and of course at leading online book retailers. You’ll find it on Amazon UK here, or Amazon US here.

I’d like to thank publisher Gill and Macmillan for submitting “Finding Birds in Ireland, 2nd Edition” for review on Ireland’s Wildlife. You can find other wildlife book reviews here. If you’d like to submit a book for review get in touch and we can take things from there.


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