Sunday book review – Field Guide to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises by Mark Carwardine

I went to a talk at the 2018 Bird Fair by the author when he talked about the preparation of this book – and now here it is. It’s a fine field guide.

And it really is a field guide – a slim volume that can easily be pocketed in a coat and brought out on deck to check something. The pages are clear and well laid out – it’s easy to find the key information at a glance. If you were packing for a trip abroad and paused to wonder whether for your couple of days at sea it was worth taking this guide, you’d decide ‘yes’ as it is slim and looks like it will lead you in the right direction.

There are 93 species of cetacean covered here, and as I’ve only seen a sixth of them I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the information except by saying that Mark Carwardine is very widely acknowledged as an absolute expert in this field, or in these waters. You’ll be in good hands with this guide.

Most of the illustrations are by Mark Camm – they are very clear.

The cover? Yep, that’s a cover for this book – 8/10.

Field Guide to Whales, Porproise and Dolphins by Mark Carwardine is published (26 May) by Bloomsbury.

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3 Replies to “Sunday book review – Field Guide to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises by Mark Carwardine”

  1. I was confused at first because the cover is nearly identical (different species but same design) to Carwardine’s ‘Handbook of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises’. The Handbook is excellent so I imagine the Field Guide is also very good (and presumably a bit more portable in the field).
    If you’ve seen 15 species of cetacean as a Northampton-based birder I’d say you are doing pretty well – I’m envious!
    Hopefully we can learn to manage our oceans in a way that doesn’t send yet more species the way of the Vaquita https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/05/world/vaquita-porpoises-endangered-scn/index.html

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