Book review – Britain’s Sea Mammals by Jon Dunn, Robert Still and Hugh Harrop

Britain's Sea Mammals: Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises, and Seals and Where to Find Them (Wild Guides)The first cetacean I ever saw was probably a harbour porpoise off the coast of Argyll – although I thought it was a dolphin.  And the first whale I saw, which surfaced in a raft of Manx shearwaters off the north coast of Rhum, was probably a minke whale – although I thought it was a pilot whale.

The fact that these memories are still quite sharp in my memory after several decades tells me something of the fascination that such marine mammals have for me, and probably for you.

The fact that I was guessing as to the identity of what I had seen tells me that there are plenty of us who have been waiting for this book – which I think is an excellent one.

This is not just a field guide – though it is a very good guide to cetaceans and seals in the field – but this book tells you about where to go, when to go and quite a lot about the ecology and conservation of the species that you might see.

I now know what the following words mean: lobbing, chorus lining and bottling.

Seals are fun, but cetaceans are a treat. Seals sit on the shore looking like bananas but cetaceans swim past and always seem, to me at least, wild and wonderful.  I’m looking forward to spending more time gazing out to sea with this book close at hand.  Now I’ll have a much better chance of knowing what I’m looking at.


There’s not much point telling you how much a book costs these days because ‘it all depends’.  Here are links to Amazon,NHBS and the publisher’s website.  It’s a good buy.




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3 Replies to “Book review – Britain’s Sea Mammals by Jon Dunn, Robert Still and Hugh Harrop”

  1. Mark – this is a first, a post more than a whole day without a comment. We can’t have that, so here’s a brief one to thank you for the review of this book, and the reviews generally which are one of the aspects of the blog I for one find really interesting. I think I said this in the readers’ survey and I hope it’s worth repeating. Now I must get back to that other book I’m reading, the title of which escapes me for the moment…

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