I've come in late on this, but would like to point out that in the text
accounts for range, Robson does provide a detailed description of range within
SE Asia, but it is a subset of the range and status of the species throughout
its entire range. This gives a good indication of where else the birds occur
and I find it very useful. The Aussie guides have touched on this, but not in a
consistent manner like in Robson (and many other guides). Maybe because we have
so many endemic species?
Also - does anyone know where a copy of "Birds of Wallacea" is available? I was
fortunate enough to blunder into some copies of Mackinnon and Phillips at the
Sabah Museum (wasn't cheap) but have had trouble tracking down Coates and
Bishop. I'm not well-versed with on-line searches but the sites I have seen it
come up on have all said "out of print".
From: Israel Didham <>
To: Birding Australia <>
Sent: Tuesday, 10 January 2012 5:28 AM
Subject: Bird book for SE Asia
the Robson guide covers mainland SE Asia (Singapore, Peninsular Malaysia,
Thailand, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia). If going further eastwards you have
the MacKinnon guide to Borneo, Sumatra and Java (there's also a couple of
Borneo specific guides); the Coates and Bishop guide for Wallacea (the Lesser
Sundas and Sulawesi); and then the Beehler guide for New Guinea. The Wallacea
guide alone weighs almost 2kg.
Robson is really the only guide of use if covering several countries on the
mainland, but it does have certain issues with the pictures. Especially the
babblers are really crap when trying to identify the birds from them. Its
almost like the artist hadn't actually seen any of the babblers in life. Having
said that, I have used it many times in the field and it is acceptable. The
lack of maps in Robson is a bit of an annoyance but not terribly important (the
text is concise but describes the distribution of subspecies well). Note that
there is a Thai version of the guide (covering Thailand only) which does have
As also stated, bookdepository.com is cheaper than bookdepository.co.uk (for
those who don't know, delivery is free worldwide from Book Depository)
From: Carl Clifford <>
To: Rosemary Royle <>
Sent: Tuesday, 10 January 2012 12:02 AM
Subject: Bird book for SE Asia
I think Craig Robson had to stop somewhere, as SE Asia stretches from eastern
India to Papua and north to the Philippines. I don't think I would like to lug
around a field guide that covers the whole of the region. It would be nice to
have one in the book case though. It would certainly make a lot more room in it.
On 09/01/2012, at 8:36 PM, Rosemary Royle wrote:
re Robson - Birds of South East Asia - I bought this book in the UK from Amazon
for £11.39 in Jan 2011 but it was published by New Holland and has a yellow
cover. Looking inside the cover I see it is the 2007 edition. The lack of maps
is an irritant but the distribution information is all there in the text.
Note that if you are going to Malaysia, as we were, this book does not cover
It would certainly be worth checking that whichever publisher / retailer you by
it from that you get the latest (2009) edition.