Carrying field guides into the field

To: "'Philip A. Veerman'" <>, birding aus <>
Subject: Carrying field guides into the field
From: REID Colin <>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 15:11:27 +1000
    You have a point, certainly, there is a much bigger scope in Australia
for a bigger range of birds, however, I would argue, that most species are
in families and once one has sufficient experience with the commoner ones,
one shd be able to differentiate between them and more unusual individuals
in most locations. 
    I was, too, thinking of local rather than interstate trips, but, having
read numerous reports on this medium and others  - it would appear to me
that most birders travel for 'targeted species'. Now, I wouldn't go looking
for Grasswrens, for example, without having an idea what they generally look
like and I don't think many would. At the same time I wouldn't leave my
field guides in Brisbane if I was looking for Grasswrens in some other
state, I just wouldn't hoick them around in the field - I like a challenge!

    As I said, too, it's probably personal choice at the end of the day. It
would be interesting to see if NOT carrying a guide is very 'English' (or
maybe European?) and exclusively so?
    Any other takers?

Colin Reid 


-----Original Message-----
From: Philip A. Veerman 
Sent: Wednesday, 31 July 2002 2:34 PM
To: birding aus
Subject: Carrying field guides into the field

Perhaps English twitchers are particularly peculiar. (I have never been
there.) I don't take a field guide out with me around home, because I don't
need it, however I usually do in unfamiliar places and always have at least
two different ones in the car on longer trips. I guess in England most birds
are predictable, so experienced people don't need a book, hence it would be
uncool to take a book with you. It is only for the rarities that they need a
book. It may be considered good discipline to take your own field notes for
those occasional unexpecteds, as you would need those notes to justify the
id for rarities, (just as for here).

-----Original Message-----
From:  <>
To:  <>  <
 <> >
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 2002 10:59
Subject: Carrying field guides into the field

I have nearly finished reading Mark Cockers' book 'Birders: Tales of a
Tribe' about the twitching phenomenon in the UK. It has been a very
enjoyable read but a comment in this book which was similar to a statement
made in Bill Oddie's autobiography had let me to believe that I continue to
make an enormous faux pas everytime I go birding. Both books allude to the
fact that it is poor form to take a field guide out in the field and one
must make notes and diagrams of what one sees. In taking my copy of Slater
with me into the filed, have I committed a cardinal sin of birding, or is
this a particularly English peculiarity?

PS Presumably those that take chairs into the field do so, so they can
accommodate the larger field guides or even HANZAB on their lap.

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