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Wildlife Books

Book Review: Chris Packham’s “Back Garden Nature Reserve” and “Wild Side of Town”

Urban and Garden Wildlife with Chris Packham

I’m sitting writing this in my in-law’s house in Cork City, up with the family from rural West Cork to do a spot of Christmas shopping and soak up the festive atmosphere. But as always, I’ll be keeping an eye and ear tuned for wildlife while in town. Cities offer a….

Book Review: Britain’s Habitats: A Guide to the Wildlife Habitats of Britain and Ireland

Britain's Habitats

Understanding habitats is an important part of wildlife watching. Whether you’re targeting a particular species or looking to find as much wildlife as you can on a trip to a particular location, knowledge about the various habitats you’re likely to encounter, and the species they support, is a key part of a successful wildlife….

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

Finding Birds in Ireland

Published 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….

Book Review: The Complete Naturalist

The Complete Naturalist Book Review

When I was a youngster I was forever outdoors exploring all the nooks and crannies and marvelling at the wild world that unfolded before my eyes, ears and nose. In the garden, down the woods, at the beach, along the riverbank — there was a never-ending world to explore, literally….

Book Review: Insects of Ireland

Insects of Ireland -- inside the book

I’ve always had a fascination with minibeasts. As a child I used to lie in the long grass for what seemed hours at a time, watching the drama of the miniature ecosystem unfold in front of me. What I was seeing, quite literally under my nose, was every bit as dynamic,….

Book Review: The Helm Guide to Bird Identification

Warblers: The Helm Guide to Bird Identification

Have you ever struggled to tell your bar-tailed from your black-tailed godwit? How about differentiating your dabbling ducks, or getting to grips with gulls and grebes? No matter how experienced a bird watcher you are, there are always species that will prove tricky, and there will be times (sometimes lots of them) when you’re….

Book Review: Wildlife Stalker (Days in the life of Filmmaker Bob Landis)

 A few days after our arrival in Yellowstone our wildlife guide for that day stopped his car at a pullout and waved to an ‘elderly’ man sat in his car nearby. The man barely acknowledged our guide as he seemed engrossed on something way off in the distance. ‘That’s Bob….

Book Review: Britain’s Dragonflies

Britain's Dragonflies Book Review

Dragonflies and damselflies are the all-stars of the insect world. Large, mobile, active predators — with the possible exception of cephalopods (octopuses, cuttlefish and squid) the odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) are about as exciting as invertebrates get. In Ireland we have 11 species of damselfly and 22 species of dragonfly, and while identifying some of….

Book Review: Britain’s Day Flying Moths

Moths are brilliant. Here in Ireland we have only 34 butterfly species — including residents and frequently encountered migrants. We have, to date, more than 1,330 recorded moth species on the island. They come in all sorts of shapes colour and sizes and are a fascinating group of oft-overlooked insects that play a crucial….

Book Review: The Wildflowers of Ireland — A Field Guide

Bee Orchid

Plants are the cornerstone of our biodiversity — the foundation on which all of our wildlife depends. They form the vital link between the sun’s energy and almost all life on earth. Yet so often we don’t give them the attention they deserve. Birds, mammals and our larger, more dynamic invertebrates tend to hog….

Book Review: Narture — nature / art manual for primary schools


When it comes to conservation there’s nothing more important than encouraging young children to connect and engage with the natural world around them. Children have an innate curiosity for nature that makes them open to exploring its secrets — but that connection doesn’t last long. Unless we nurture that spark of interest….

Book Review: Tracks and Signs of the Animals and Birds of Britain and Europe

Animal Tracks & Signs

There are no two ways about it, a lot of our wildlife is incredibly tricky to see. You can get lucky, of course. Occasionally birds, and even mammals, lizards or amphibians, will appear out of nowhere, seemingly oblivious to your presence as you marvel them in close proximity. These are,….