As Sean Dooley was (unbeknown to me) collecting his 400th or
so bird in 2002 my general interest in birds erupted into a full blown birding
passion during a trip through central Queensland.
In 2003 I began looking for birding sites on the Net and soon came upon
Birding-Aus. As I trawled through the postings and looked for information on
target birds I kept running into very amusing postings by one Sean Dooly.
Gradually it dawned on me that these was all part of a great, and now completed,
saga and I sought out its beginnings. Eventually I got to the fateful posting of
31 December 2001 announcing
the commencement of the quest.
I so enjoyed the postings that I printed the whole lot out and assembled
them into a 25 mm thick folder. I still get considerable pleasure from browsing
through Sean?s musings from time to time and have often thought that it would be
good to see the postings published as a book.
I was therefore a dead set buyer when I saw a copy in a bookshop in
Adelaide (going to buy a field guide
in the hope of beguiling a 6 year old nephew into becoming a
differences between the postings and the book are very interesting. While I
thoroughly enjoyed the book, it was clearly written for the general reader
rather than the keen birder ? they are, after all, a much larger target market!
In the postings Sean knows that he is writing for an audience who fully
understand what he is doing and why he would be doing it. The book by contrast
has a heavy emphasis on seeking to try to explain why anybody would have such a
passion. There is an assumption that being a serious birder needs to be
explained and excused- no doubt a result of that perfidious high school teacher!
Those of us who share the passion don?t need to be convinced.
Buy the book by all means. The poor lad definitely needs the
royalties now that he has a love interest to feed and nurture! If you are a
serious birder, however, go back to the postings AS WELL. It is there that you
will find the raw passion, the determination to succeed, the despondency that
comes with dips, and the unalloyed pleasure of finding that long sought for