Hello Birding-ausers.....especially Jill (Denning) and Trevor (Ford),
In spite of current life-matters making my bird-watching somewhat sporadic,
brief and lacking in depth, the recent public discourse between Jill and Trevor
re identification of Double-banded Plovers got me thinking.
Birdwatching for me is basically a visual thing.
That is, I get more than 90% of my enjoyment out of simply identifying the bird
In simplistic terms, this means that I generally try to fit the bird under
observation to an illustration in one of the field guides I possess.
In spite of over 25 years of birdwatching I have never got into the serious
business of trying to work out anything more detailed than trying to discern if
I am looking at a male, female, adult, juvenile, immature, something even
younger, breeding or non-breeding.
Working out age by plumage 'phase' has not interested me.
Anything more 'technical' has generally not interested me either.
By the same token, I admire those people who can and do absorb all the
information needed to go that extra distance in birdwatching.
Having said that,
although I feel quite comfortable with my ability to identify Double-banded
Plovers, breeding or non-breeding but perhaps not immature or juvenile, I
check-out the illustrations and pictures in my personal reference library.
For this purpose, this involved 8 illustrated field guides, 1 photographic field
guide, 2 illustrated identification guides, 2 photographic books, 1 video, and
HANZAB (The Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds) Vol 2.
I found it quite interesting to see the enormous differences in the
representations of the Double-banded Plover.
The exercise has reinforced in my mind the need to have as many different
sources for identification of birds in general as possible.
For those people interested (or lacking in something better to do) I have sifted
through my resources and have compiled a summary of personal comments on those
publications in connection with the identification of the Double-banded Plover
This forms Part 2 of this missive.
I will not be offended if people choose not to read it but I welcome
constructive comments either sent to me directly or via Birding-aus.
I may or may not respond to criticism depending on available time and my
perception of the value of the criticism.
Birding-Aus is on the Web at
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