This revised edition of the late James Fisher's much praised Watching Birds is the work of Dr Jim Flegg, Director of the British Trust for Ornithology. In his Preface Dr Flegg writes: "It is a daunting task to revise the bird book on which you cut your teeth: it is the surest measure of the man who wrote it that what is needed, after thirty-odd years, is an updating and not a sweeping revision." Among James Fisher's deservedly popular writings Watching Birds was probably the most read and consulted. After several reprints (published by Penguin Books) he planned to re-write it, and it is wholly appropriate that the work should now be done by Dr Flegg who, like the original author, has done much to help arouse and stimulate a widening interest in watching and understanding the life and world of birds. It is an indication of that interest today that radio and TV programmes (in which Dr Flegg has frequently participated) have audiences of millions.
Such numbers are hardly surprising since few leisure activities offer as effective or as gratifying an antidote to the pressures of modern life as birdwatching - and few can be as readily and inexpensively pursued at almost any time, anywhere. Watching Birds has been an introduction and an item of basic equipment to tens of thousands of birdwatchers in the past, and this new and revised edition is assured of an even wider audience.