2 March 2018

Two of the top five regional bird atlases of the past ten years were produced by BBR

We were delighted to learn that The Breeding Birds of North Wales, a 484pp, A4, full-colour book which we designed and project managed for Liverpool University Press in 2013, has come second in the BB/BTO Best Local Bird Atlas 2007–17, a competition organised by British Birds magazine and the British Trust for Ornithology. The results have just been published in the March 2018 issue of British Birds.

The past ten years has been a rich time for local bird atlases, with some forty county and regional ornithological societies taking the opportunity to publish detailed local analyses of the survey data they collected and provided for the BTO’s national Bird Atlas 2007–11 (2013).

In reviewing the North Wales atlas, the judges reported:

This atlas is the first of its kind for this challenging area. … A decision was taken early on to limit the scope to the breeding season only. Yet even with one extra year of fieldwork beyond the national survey, the book was published within a year of this being completed, and most of the text is in Welsh as well as in English. The introductory chapters — describing the area, changes in land use, the winners and losers among the region’s breeding birds, and an analysis of the distribution of the species groups by habitat — gained particular praise. Within the species accounts, we found the pages to be well laid out.

You can see more sample spreads from The Breeding Birds of North Wales in our portfolio.

Another county atlas produced by BBR had come fifth in the competition. The Birds of Gloucestershire (full colour, 240 x 275mm, 484pp), which we also produced in 2013 for LUP, was described by the judges as:

This avifauna includes maps from a winter and breeding-season tetrad survey conducted in 2007–11, surprisingly the first time the area has been subject to an atlas. We liked the presentation and the authoritative feel of the book as well as the excellent use of the additional tables and statistics. We felt that this is a very comprehensive review and found the mix of artwork and photographs particularly appealing.

You can see more sample spreads from The Birds of Gloucestershire in our portfolio.

Our congratulations to Ian Spence, Anne Brenchley and their team in North Wales, and to Gordon Kirk and John Phillips in Gloucestershire, for this national recognition of their efforts.

BBR has produced a number of full-colour regional bird atlases and avifaunas for LUP over the past ten years, including Birds in Cheshire and Wirral (2008, full colour, A4, 704pp), which won the inaugural Marsh Local Ornithology Award in 2010. It’s unlikely we’ll see a similar cohort of books again as the BTO national survey only takes place every twenty years, and who knows what the best format will be in 2030 for presenting the next round of local and national survey data?