Pizzey & Knight (& Darwin)

Subject: Pizzey & Knight (& Darwin)
From: "Niven McCrie" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 20:31:14 +0000
I must say I agree with the general comments on the quality of the 
new guide. Since seeing Frank Knight's illustrations beside those of 
Betty Temple-Watt in Frith's Pigeons & Doves and later in other 
publications I felt that it would be great to see him illustrate 
something more extensive. Pity he didn't get in early on HANZAB!!
Anyway here it is and I'm not disappointed. A few improvements could 
still be made to some plates but these are fewer than in other books.

The glaring shortcomings in the book - and these have already been 
picked up - are the maps and the treatment (or lack of treatment) of 
vagrants. For my money I think the family breakdown at the back is a 
waste of time and the space could (should) have been used to present at least 
current state of play on the new birds for Australia, either as a 
separate section or spread through the book. One day a book will give 
the'real birders' amongst us the consideration we deserve and crave!

Just to highlight the map problem - in a quick look through, there 
are no less than 25 maps that I consider seriously misleading or 
innacurate for my area (Darwin). So don't plan your Top End trip 
using the maps!!!!
 More use of two-toned maps could have been made.
 Only Letter-winged Kite, Masked Owl and Starling have 
this for distributional purposes (the Sitella has it for 
racial/clinal reasons). Why have it at all in that case?

I still like the book a lot and if I ever really need to use a field 
guide again then it'll probably be the one I turn to first. But by 
then the new improved, revised edition will be out and it will have 
heeded all the comments bandied about on Birding-Aus.

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