by Dominic Couzens / John Wyatt
The original Teach Yourself Bird Sounds series was published in the 1990s as a series of ten cassettes, each featuring a different habitat. This overdue CD version begins with the two habitats that are closest to home for most birdwatchers, the garden (with 21 featured species) and broad-leaved woodland (with 24 featured species).
Designed to help you identify the bird songs and calls, and with commentary throughout, this is very much a tutorial. For each of the 45 species, a detailed spoken commentary takes you through what is distinctive about each song or call featured, with one or more repetitions to help you learn it thoroughly.
Along the way the commentary is full of memory aids, such as comparing the song of a Dunnock to the squeaky wheels of a trolley, or likening the Feral Pigeon's coo to the phrase: "Look at the Moon!" The commentary also brings in direct comparisons of similar sounds made by other birds, repeating them close together so that you can hear for yourself what makes them different. There is even a tricky medley at the end of each CD to test how well the listener has learnt the material.
All in all, Teach Yourself Bird Sounds represents the most detailed bird sound tutorial so far published.
This double CD set includes a 16 page booklet giving you a summary of every bird call featured and an introduction by Dominic Couzens.