THE DELPHI CLUB GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF ABACO
There’s nothing like a massive house clear-out (after 42 years) to reveal lost possessions, forgotten treasures, and (for that matter) a few things best forgotten… Last Spring we began to prepare for a house-move, during which I found a box of bird books that I duly reported here (and happily sold). Recently, sorting through a packed shipping container parked in the unlikely setting of a local farm has revealed plenty of surprises, including a couple more boxes of BIRDS OF ABACO. There definitely aren’t any more. There may be one or two people who might like one / who lost their copy during Dorian / who are new to Abaco and its wonderful birdlife. Here is a chance to own one…
In the spirit of recycling I am reusing the original blurb because it still holds good today. The book is only ‘out of date’ to the extent that since publication about a dozen new species have been reported. Most were seen just the once, some for a few weeks at most. So although exciting, the newcomers were more ‘Birds Passing Through…’ than ‘Birds Of…’ Abaco
The originator of the idea for the book – as with the entire Delphi Club project – was Peter Mantle, the publisher. He took a risk based on my (then) quite feeble Rolling Harbour blog about the birds and other attractions of the island. The 2kg 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.
As part of the project, Abaco schools, libraries and wildlife organisations were given copies for educational purposes. A percentage of profits was given to local wildlife causes. We quickly sold a great many copies, and couldn’t have been more pleased with the response to the book, a unique publication for the Bahamas. The captions (below) about the book and content were written much nearer the time, so I’ll leave them as they are. I hope you enjoy the photos even if you don’t want a copy!
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 seed trails 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. The project was managed by a publishing specialist in art and architecture 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 were the chances?
BOOK LAUNCH BAHAMAS BIRDING ROYALTY (Tony White, Bruce Hallett, Woody Bracey), A COMMONER… & AN EMBARRASSING AMOUNT OF REFRESHMENT
Photos: Tom Sheley (3,4,9,10), Bruce Hallett (6,8), Gerlinde Taurer (1,7), Tony Hepburn (5), Keith Salvesen (2,11)
THE ORIGINAL FLYER