Birds / Birds of Britain (1975)

This excellent range of three sets was "Produced in Cooperation with the Royal Society For The Protection of Birds". The RSPB logo is featured on each of them.

John Hunt (Product Manager at the time) tells us: "The very detailed artwork was by Peggy Chapman."

The first printing was entitled "Birds of Britain"; when reprinted, the title was shortened to "Birds". International editions had similar titles, as appropriate!

Originally gravure printed with the serial number GK216, the sets were popular enough to get three litho reprints: L14, L68 & L97.

The earliest litho printing, L14, quickly followed GK216 & simply re-used its artwork. L68 (& its straight reprint, L97) had expanded transfer sheets featuring more artwork not employed earlier.

In other words, there were two different editions of these sets; the earlier edition had fewer transfers.

A full page advert from "Look-In" magazine, 3rd December 1977 features the later edition:


The display box, shown in the Thomas Salter 1981 trade catalogue:


Here are all three of the earlier version sets bundled together, just for a lark:


Early International editions (photos from Nic Comley):


Garden and Park: (GK216/1, L14/1, L68/1a & L97/1)


You'll notice that the six birds on the right-hand side of the transfer sheet are numbered 13 to 18. These birds wouldn't have appeared in the earlier edition of this set; only the un-numbered birds were on the GK216 sheet.


The extra birds were supposed to be applied to the "Super Spotter Cards", which along with the colouring picture, were new additions to the background & cover.

The Uncut Sheet

By a stroke of luck, I came across sufficient sheets cut out of an uncut L14 sheet to be able to recreate the whole (minus many of the trimmings, as you can see):


The GK216 uncut sheet would have been almost identical, apart from the serial numbers.

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View the others in this series here:

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Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — Nic Comley