For once, I’m not on the pulse of modern day publishing as this book was originally launched a year ago. Indeed, I attended the launch in the Netherlands. It was a fascinating day of presentations by the various major contributors to the book. Amongst the speakers were Mark Constantine (the main man of A Sound Approach), Killian Mullarney and Magnus Robb. All gave insightful accounts behind the initial ideas and construction of the book.

Owls are an enigmatic family of birds. How many of us regularly see owls? The answer is that many of us don’t with fleeting glimpses of birds flashing across car headlights being the best that many of us can attain. It is true: owls are not the easiest of birds to study. What this book has boldly done is to present owls in a whole new light, if you will excuse the rubbish pun. The authors set about recording the owl species in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and in the process they discovered new calls from species that we thought we knew well. They have made the suggestion that the Great Grey Owl of northern Europe be split from the Great Grey Owl of arctic North America and be re-named Lapland Owl. They even succeded in discovering a new owl species, the Omani Owl.

The book comes replete with four cd’s containing the calls of the owls – a truly fascinating collection of sounds – that in the engaging text are deciphered and graphically described in sonograms. This is not a throwaway book that you refer to just once. It is a tome that will pique interest and will draw you to explore your environs under the cover of darkness to discover the owls in your neighbourhood.

I applaud A Sound Approach for their ground breaking work.

Undiscovered Owls – A Sound Approach Guide is available from Wildsounds. Visit Website ››

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