The rugged countryside of Wales has long been a destination for successive generations of naturalists, ornithologists, oologists and, latterly, birdwatchers. Since the pioneering days of Willoughby and Ray, Pennant and Edward Llwyd, a growing number of intrepid travellers have recorded the wildlife and other natural riches of the mountains and coastlines of Wales. Despite these beginnings and the more recent twentieth century vogue for birdwatching, no volume on the birds of Wales has been produced until now to serve the increasing need for scientifically valid information for conservation purposes. In the years that have passed since the first naturalists visited Wales, changes of unimaginable scale have taken place in the Welsh countryside which have had equally dramatic impacts on the native bird communities. A succession of bird species have either been eliminated deliberately by the hand of man - mainly birds of prey - or have been dispossessed by changes in land use, the spread of industrialisation, urbanisation and pollution, trends which continue today to the increasing detriment of even some of our most familiar countryside birds. Much fine habitat remains however, and new species have come in to colonise Wales and add to the magic of its countryside. This volume sets out for the first time the historical and current status of all the bird species found in Wales together with their present distribution. The three authors, all staff of the RSPB in Wales, have between them an accumulated experience of some 80 years of first-hand knowledge of birds in the Principality. Their knowledge and love of the birds and Wales itself makes this authoritative volume a landmark both in Welsh and ornithological publishing.

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