Ah yes. I wonder what was in his mind to ask if it was a joke. In many places it isn’t.
The first time I went out of Australia (to China in 2009) I went to several book shops and some of their huge department stores, in Wuhan to see if there was
anything like a bird field guide, In English or even in Mandarin. Nothing. Maybe I was not taken to the most suitable shops, I recall lots of textbooks for university students there. The closest I found was a small recipe book and a Mandarin translation of
an English basic bird book, that I was fairly familiar with. It was only a year or few after I returned that I was able to get “Birds of East Asia”. And if any reader is expert in this I would like an explanation as to why White-winged Magpie
Cissa whiteheadi is not in the book……….. Because I think I saw them and they were in the display collection in the museum of the zoology department at Wuhan university.
From: Canberrabirds [
On Behalf Of John Layton via Canberrabirds
Sent: Sunday, 17 October, 2021 1:15 PM
To: Canberra birds
Subject: [Canberrabirds] One hundred reactions between birds and people in Canberra
Apropos Geoffrey’s post about the above forthcoming book. One time, while I was reviewing National Capital Planning Authority expenditure, a pragmatic public servant type
pointed to an entry that referred to support for publication of Birds of the Australian Capital Territory – An Atlas and inquired, “Is this someone’s idea of a joke?”
Later on he saw me with a field guide and was quite taken with it viz, “I never knew such books existed.” He bought a copy for his children at Christmas and the family
became ardent birdwatchers. Here’s hoping they retain the ardour.