Monday, April 25, 2016

Just the books for those big on birds

Not a lot of people know that the last giant in Game of Thrones is an avid birdwatcher. Fittingly, he carries in his shirt pocket the one-volume rethinking of the 17-vol Handbook of the Birds of the World. He doesn't find its 599 quarto pages and consequent considerable weight any strain at all. He did grumble a bit at the $175 outlay, but giant books and giant's books come at giant prices. And he was specially pleased to see lots of cracking pictures from a clutch of talented Aussie photographers.  'I really liked the Eastern Grass Owl in flight,' he rumbled.

For less gigantic folk, and for birders who enjoy being challenged to think about what they're doing, there's Lloyd Neilsen's Birds of the wet tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef and where to find them (nobody could accuse Lloyd of inadequate labelling). Idiosyncratic isn't always a compliment, but I call it thus and mean it as such. Layout, info, theories, it's a guide to birds, birding and bird places that's different from all others. And the differences are to treasure, whether you agree with Lloyd or not. Fact-filled 397 pages for $45. Well worth thinking about!


No comments: