Migration Hotspots

Tim Harris

Bloomsbury, £22.50

Each year, millions of birds perform spectacular migrations to take advantage of seasonal habitats, many of them using the eight major global 'flyways'. Along these flyways, particular hotspots provide excellent bird watching as different species come together, thanks to similar requirements, such as a short sea crossing.

The introduction explains some of the science of migration, and Harris invites us to ponder some of the incredible journeys birds perform. For example, willow warblers weigh about the same as two teaspoons of sugar yet make migrations of 12,000km.

The introduction is followed by details of 28 migration hotspots in five continents. Each site description includes some beautiful photos, information on species to expect at particular times of year, suggestions of where to go in the area and details of particularly spectacular migrations that the area has witnessed.

Many of the areas described are protected, but some are threatened by wind farms, urbanisation and mineral extraction, so the sooner the better for some of these outings.

This is an attractive book, perfect for coffee table inspiration or to help serious birders choose their next trip.

Dr Rebecca Nesbit MSB