The Birdwatcher

To: Keith Fisher <>, "" <>
Subject: The Birdwatcher
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2013 18:07:13 +1100
haha Lindsay!!! sounds like it's worth the read, if just for a good laugh at 
these misgivings!!! a spoondill spearing fish got me down on the floor!!!
thanks for sharing...cheers, martin cachard, Cairns
> Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2013 16:44:31 +1000
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] The Birdwatcher
> Just before Christmas I borrowed the new novel, by William McInnes 
> entitled The Birdwatcher from our local library. Now William McInnes is 
> a finet actor and I am sure his previous books, mainly autobiographical, 
> have been excellent. However, his latest novel 'The Birdwatcher" has 
> left me quite puzzled. He has obviously done a lot of research and many 
> of his ornithological observations are correct, but I am left wondering 
> if he is just having a go at the birdwatching fraternity or what?.
> The plot moves from Melbourne to Cairns and north to the Daintree area 
> and the geography becomes extremely confusing as if William visited the 
> area about 20 years ago and is relying on his memory and getting it 
> dreadfully wrong. He also keeps referring to 'The Escarpment' -- maybe 
> he thinks he's in Kakadu! The bird that causes the main character, David 
> Thomas from Melbourne (as he is referred to), to use the last of his 
> savings to fly north, is a delightfully named Pale Pygmy Magpie Goose or 
> PPMG. This amazing bird migrates from PNG and is very rarely seen, but 
> has the interesting ability to sing! I have no problem with inventing 
> such an imaginative bird for the purpose of the novel, but when it 
> refers to the closely related Cotton Pygmy Goose being on the tidal 
> flats, it starts to get a bit unreal to say the least.
> Also, staring out to sea from the beach David observes 'gannets or are 
> they boobies' -- not unless his eyesight can see beyond the reef! It is 
> winter, but somehow there are waders galore on the beaches and then he 
> decides to go and look for a Rainbow Pitta -- maybe on the Kakadu 
> Escarpment otherwise he'd just have to be content with a plain old Noisy 
> Pitta north of Cairns! Masked Owls seem to have replaced Barn Owls as 
> the common species and what is an 'Australasian Harrier (?) doing 
> feeding on road-kill at night? Oh, and a spoonbill spearing fish! I 
> could go on. It seems such a shame to ruin an otherwise readable tale by 
> not getting his facts right. Does anyone know if William is actually a 
> birdwatcher?
> Cheers,
> Lindsay
>      Keith & Lindsay Fisher
>      Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge
>      RN 6 Mt. Kooyong Road
>      Julatten QLD 4871
>      Ph : (07) 4094 1263
>      Web Site:
>      Blog:
> Winner: Wet Tropics 2010 Cassowary Award for Nature Based Tourism
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