Calton, STS: Poyser, 2010. — 560 p. ISBN-13: 978-1408136959. The Strait of Gibraltar is famous as a major point of passage for Palaearctic birds migrating between their European breeding grounds and their winter quarters in Africa. Clive Finlayson, a native of the Rock and a trained ornithologist, presents a fascinating account of the region and its resident and transitory bird life. The first chapter of the book describes the area, which broadly defined includes the Coto Donana in the north and the Merja Zerga in the south, and the geographic and climatological characteristics which make it a suitable crossing place. In scope this book goes beyond the strict definition of the Strait and, following Irby's 19th Century work, examines the rich area where Europe meets Africa. The chapters which follow describe in detail the migration patterns of the principal passage species including their origins, destinations and overall numbers, showing how the precise conditions of weather and visibility affect the specific choice of route and timing of the crossing. The breeding and wintering bird communities are then considered and the ornithology of the entire region summarized. Whether or not you have ever witnessed the thousands of raptors, storks and other birds that may make this legendary crossing in a single day, this book will conjure the spirit of this extraordinary place. Delightful illustrations by lan Willis complete an important and entertaining book.
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