“THE DELPHI CLUB GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF ABACO”
A new season – the seventh – of the Delphi Club is now underway. There are fish to be caught, poolside inactivities to relish, chef-prepared meals to eat and a capacious wine cellar to be explored. To which, add birds to be spotted. Delphi has turned out to be a superb place for birding – not a feature given prominence in the original prospectus… The Club’s remoteness and its rich mix of pine forest, coppice, gardens and a pristine one-mile beach ensure the prefect protected habitat for a vast number of bird species common, uncommon and rare.
Eighteen months ago, “The Delphi Club Guide to THE BIRDS OF ABACO“was published. The originator of the idea – as with the entire Delphi project – was of course Peter Mantle, the publisher. The book took 16 months from conception to the arrival of three pallets of printed books on the dockside in Marsh Harbour, having travelled by a tortuous route from specialist printers in Italy.
The book was launched at the Delphi Club in March 2014, to generous enthusiasm and support both on Abaco and beyond. 75% of the edition has been sold already. In addition, Abaco schools, libraries and wildlife organisations have been given copies for educational purposes. A percentage of profits is to be given to local wildlife causes. We couldn’t be more pleased with the response to this lavish book, a unique publication in the Bahamas.
The incremental growth of social media is rapid. Blogs gain readers. Facebook and Twitter pages gain new friends and followers. The start of this new Delphi season is therefore a good moment to post a reminder about the book, illustrated with a few of the wonderful bird species featured. And… ahem… there are only 57 more ‘sleeps’ until Christmas.
The Guide showcases the rich and varied bird life of Abaco, Bahamas and features both resident and migratory species including rarities and unusual sightings. The main features are as follows:
- 272 pages with more than 350 photographs
- 163 species shown in vivid colour – nearly two-thirds of all the bird species ever recorded for Abaco
- Every single photograph was taken on Abaco or in Abaco waters
- All birds are shown in their natural surroundings – no feeders or trails of seed were used
- Several birds featured are the first ones ever recorded for Abaco or even for the entire Bahamas
- A total of 30 photographers, both experienced and amateur, contributed to the project
- The book has had the generous support of many well-known names of Abaco and Bahamas birding
- A complete checklist of every bird recorded for Abaco since 1950 up to the date of publication was compiled specially for the book.
- A neat code was devised to show at a glance when you may see a particular bird, and the likelihood of doing so. Birds found at Delphi are also marked.
- Specially commissioned cartographer’s Map of Abaco showing places named in the book
- Informative captions intentionally depart from the standard field guide approach…
- …as does the listing of the birds in alphabetical rather than scientific order
- Say goodbye to ’37 warbler species on consecutive pages’ misery
- Say hello to astonishing and unexpected juxtapositions of species
- The book was printed in Florence, Italy by specialist printers on Grade-1 quality paper
- Printing took pairs of printers working in 6 hour shifts 33 hours over 3 days to complete
- The project manager and the author personally oversaw the printing
- The book is dedicated to the wildlife organisations of Abaco
- A percentage of the proceeds of sale will be donated for the support of local wildlife organisations
- A copy of the book has been presented to every school and library on Abaco
The book is published by the Delphi Club (contact details below). The project was managed by a publishing specialist in art books. The author is the wildlife blogger more widely known on Abaco and (possibly) beyond as ‘Rolling Harbour’. Oh! So that would in fact be Mrs Harbour and myself. Well well! What are the chances?
PO Box AB-20006, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas
Images by Tom Sheley, Bruce Hallett, Gerlinde Taurer, Tony Hepburn, Peter Mantle, RH