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if you plan to bird, or dream about birding, the Texas coast.

My good friend Mel Cooksey, a native Missourian who now lives in Corpus 
Christi, TX, sent me a copy of  the new A BIRDER'S GUIDE TO THE TEXAS COAST 
(5th ed., American Birding Association, 2006), which he co-authored with Ron 
Weeks. A much-needed 335-page update of  an ABA/Lane birding finding guide 
last previously updated by the late Harold Holt in 1993, this field 
guide-sized book is one of the best-written and most comprehensive books of 
its genre I have yet seen. It covers the entire 370-mile long Texas coast 
from the Louisiana border to and including Laguna Atascosa NWR, leaving only 
S. Padre Island, Boca Chica, Sabal Palm, Brownsville, etc. to be covered by 
A BIRDER'S GUIDE TO THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY. It lists for $24.95 and is 
available to ABA members for $19.96.

The book's coverage is not limited to coastal birding hotspots per se. It 
goes inland to birding areas that a visitor to a coastal city like Beaumont, 
Houston, Freeport, Galveston or Corpus Christi might want to bird  -- e.g. 
the Pineywoods of East Texas; the King Ranch and other South Texas birding 
areas along US 77 between Corpus Christi and the LRGV.

In addition to birding resources, the book contains chapters listing 
mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies and brief 
descriptions of their habitats.

I am enthusiastic about this book because it is so comprehensive. It has 
everything that a good bird-finding guide should have, including good maps, 
bar graphs showing seasonal abundance and status of nearly 400 bird species, 
a chapter which tells you where to go for target specialties, habitat 
descriptions, website addresses of Texas birding organizations, internet 
resources, useful publications, discussion of  Texas's many annual birding 
festivals and conventions, discussions of The Great Texas Birding Trail and 
The Great Texas Birding Classic, warnings about snakes, ticks, chiggers and 
fire ants, illustrations, photos and more.

I have no financial interest in this report. I am sending a copy of this 
post to Mel to congratulate him on a job well done.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
[log in to unmask] 

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