RE: Pizzey & Knight (& Darwin)

To: "'ozbird'" <>
Subject: RE: Pizzey & Knight (& Darwin)
From: "Conole, Lawrie" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 10:47:08 +1000
> 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 the 
> 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!
If you need a field guide to the birds of countries OTHER than
Australia, they're readily available!  Where would you draw the line?
There are dozens of species that have been recorded once as vagrants to
Australia, or might be in the future, but what would be the point of
including Blue-and-white Flycatcher, Narcissus Flycatcher, Brown Shrike,
Pheasant-tailed Jacana & so on in an Australian field guide?  Other
birds which only 10-20 years ago (or less in some cases) used to be
regarded as vagrants, and are now known to be scarce but regular
visitors (Yellow Wagtail, Red-rumped Swallow, House Swift, etc.) are in
this book and others.  

.. and I resent the inference that looking for ecologically irrelevant
but otherwise interesting oddities is "real birding" as opposed to any
other kind.

> 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 
Is this supreme arrogance .... or do you just not look at Australian
birds any more?

Lawrie Conole
Geelong, Victoria, Australia

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