News from BIRDWG01 via Finnish "Lintuverkko" mailing list: The long-waited guide that was supposed to be published in November, is still postponed. Below is the whole message from Killian Mullarney, one of the authors (I'm publishing it here as well as I doubt that publishers are reading this blog).
Since I doubt that the publishers are seeing this, and I'm not aware that either of my co-authors subscribe to ID-Frontiers I thought I'd issue a brief response to your query. First things first - in spite of considerable effort having being made by all involved, this title will not be out in November. Quite why the publishers of certain editions have been announcing its imminent appearance for over two years is difficult to understand but I guess it has more to do with keeping prospective publishers of co-editions interested, than with provoking and frustrating the many birders who are keen to have it as soon as possible. Those of us involved in the work have known for at least the past twelve months that there was no chance of it being out before autumn 2009; alas, everything has not come together quite as planned so publication has been delayed by around 6 months. So far as I am aware, just about everything is ready now, printing will commence very soon and publication is
currently scheduled for March 2010.
The number of pages has increased by about 10% in the revised edition. Twenty-four new spreads have been used both to alleviate some of the more crowded plates in the first edition, and treat around 40 additional species, the majority of which are the result of taxonomic changes. Treatment of wildfowl, shearwaters, grebes, birds of prey, cranes, large gulls, pigeons, doves, owls, pipits, chats, thrushes, warblers, flycatchers, shrikes and North American passerines have all been extensively revised, with the addition of numerous new and improved images while, where necessary, distribution maps have been updated. To be honest, there is hardly a spread in the whole book that could not have been significantly improved in some way or other, but we have had to concentrate on the areas where we felt revision was most needed.
So, in response to your last question "should owners of the first edition plan on an upgrade?" my answer would be a definite 'YES", but then I would say that, wouldn't I?!