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Thread: Birding

  1. #1
    Member sunnycoastguy's Avatar
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    Birding

    This is for the birding guys,what do you use to id the birds?? Is there a book that i should get or do you use the web ????

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    I'm just a beginner Birder and I use this site to do basic identifications.

    http://www2.abc.net.au/science/birds/

    Hope it helps you and good luck with your efforts.
    Cheers
    Darey

    Nikon user, Thick skinned and wanting to improve, genuine C & C welcomed.

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    I use "Field Guide to the Birds of Australia" by Simpson & Day, bought it online from one of the book shops. Quite handy to have in the car.

    An honest C+C please!


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    Do you have the site you bought it from??.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnycoastguy View Post
    Do you have the site you bought it from??.
    Dymocks Online HERE

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    A proper field guide is by far the best, Sunnycoastguy. There are four Australian ones.

    It is generally (but not universally) agreed that the best field guides to get started with are (in order):
    1. Michael Morecombe Field guide to Australian birds (Also availablein a pocket-sized version)
    2. Graham Pizzey, Frank Knight, & Peter Menkhorst. The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.
    3. Peter, Pat & Raoul Slater, The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds.
    4. Ken Simpson & Nicholas Day Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.


    The first two listed are by far the best. Morcombe is the easiest to use for the non-expert and has much the most helpful layout. Pizzey has the most informative text, though Morcombe is almost as good in this regard; the text of Simpson & Day is very poor. Slater does a lot of things well but suffers badly from its ridiculously out-of-date sequencing - it's horribly friustrating to use because everything is in the wrong order and you can never find anything without buggerising about with the index. Expert birders tend to swap the order of those first two, rating Pizzey marginally in front of Morecombe.

    Any of the four is good enough, but if you are just starting out, get Morecombe, or possibly Pizzey.

    There are a few other books around that purport to be field guides, but frankly none of them are anywhere near as useful as the ones I mentioned above. Flegg's photographic guide is perhaps the best of them, but no photographic guide can hope to be anywhere near as useful for ID purposes as a proper field guide with paintings (which are far more able to portray the various species and their many variations in a representative way).

    For an in-depth guide, though of limited use for ID and far too large to use in the field, the dated but nevertheless excellent Reader Digest Complete book of Australian birds is highly recommended.

    If you are keen, you will end up owning all of them, but start with Morecombe, or if you prefer, Pizzey.

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    Another good source online is http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/

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    Thanks guys for the your help.

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    Craig uses the birdsinbackyards site that Allan posted, and also has the Readers Digest Complete book of Australian Birds, which is fantastic.

    Here's one on fleabay... HERE
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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    The birds in backyards site is very nice and well worth a look.

    If I've seen a bird and really want to id it, I use Pizzey and Knight: the illustrations are very clear and generally very accurate.

    If you have a photo, post it here and Tannin or Darksome will front up within seconds with a good id and some cool extra info to boot. Can't beat 'em.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Hell, Jim, sometimes we even go the extra mile and provide the correct ID!

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    Hell, Jim, sometimes we even go the extra mile and provide the correct ID!
    Bonus!

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    Ausphotography Addict Richard Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    A proper field guide is by far the best, Sunnycoastguy. There are four Australian ones.

    It is generally (but not universally) agreed that the best field guides to get started with are (in order):
    1. Michael Morecombe Field guide to Australian birds (Also availablein a pocket-sized version)
    2. Graham Pizzey, Frank Knight, & Peter Menkhorst. The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.
    3. Peter, Pat & Raoul Slater, The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds.
    4. Ken Simpson & Nicholas Day Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.


    If you are keen, you will end up owning all of them, but start with Morecombe, or if you prefer, Pizzey.
    I'd have to agree with that list. I prefer Morecombe to any of the others...just. I've also got a rather old copy of "A Field Guide to the Birds of Australia" by Graham Pizzey and Roy Doyle which I'd rate up there with Morecombe's. If I'm not using Morecombe's, then I'll revert to that, which is a favourite of mine. I guess it's really just an older version of the Pizzey/Knight guide. I've been using Pizzey/Doyle since I was 10 and only got Morecombe's a few years back actually.

    Yep, if or when you get bitten by the birding bug, you'll end up with 'em all.
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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Your guess is spot on, Rich. Pizzey and Doyle morphed into Pizzey and Knight which morphed into the current incarnation Pizzey, Knight & Menkhorst. Graham Pizzed died four or five years ago and Frank Knight has retired, so, with the blessings of the Pizzey family, Petern Menkhorst has edited the last couple of editions. The text has been altered here and there, of course, but it retains a great deal of Graham Pizzey's wonderful clear, simple, evocative prose. No doubt there will be a 9th Edition in preparation which will reflect the taxonomic changes and new sequences.

    I daresay I'll buy it - I think I'm up to date with the second edition of Morecombe (almost the same as the 1st Edn, but my 1st Edn is worn out after years of heavy use), one edn behind with Pizzey, and haven't bothered updating my Simpson and Day since 2002 or so. I updated to the new Slater in 2004 only to discover, to my great surprise, that it still had everthing in the wrong order, making just as annoying to use as ever - I can never find any damn thing.

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