Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Who needs a last second gift idea?

If so, then the Offshore Sea Life ID Guide may be for you!  Fair warning, Princeton Press sent me a free review copy.  This one deals just with the East Coast.

I was ill-prepared from a sea-sickness standpoint for the pelagic we did this last summer.  I would expect that by the time next spring rolls around I'll have forgotten the depths of misery that I (couldn't quite) stomach and will be willing to re-try it.  Written by Steven Howell and Brian Sullivan, it's more of a handbook, checking in at a mere 64 pages.  The first 10 or so are intros, the next 10-15 pages deal with whales.  Pelagic birds account for pages 26-50.  Here's a sample plate.

Basically it's a cross between Sibley and Crossley, using Sibley's format but with pics.  It wouldn't surprise me if this approach becomes pretty standard in field guides moving forward.

There's another 5 pages on flying fish which I would certainly have appreciated on our pelagic; we saw a good number of flying fish and I would have liked to have known more about them.

Finally the book deals with some of the billfish, rays, and sharks that are possibilities to encounter.

The book is a fun mix of fairly targeted plates dealing with some difficult to identify birds along with more general info about some of the other sealife that could be encountered on a pelagic.  While I was surprised when I received it how short the book is, the small size will definitely increase it's usability in the field.  At $14.95, I think this is a worthwhile investment for a birder planning to return to the Atlantic seas.

No comments: