Guest writer: Alan McBride on the forthcoming bird finding guide to Australia

Alan has become my Facebook friend a couple of months ago and, as with others, we started to interact online. Then in November 2010 we participated the same bird watching conference in India where we turned the virtual friendship into a real one. Alan is a very nice multi-function guy with a very good sense of humor. I am happy to read his lines about an important Australian bird finding guide, to be on the shelves in March 2011, in which he is a co-authoring.

The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia
Richard Thomas, Sarah Thomas, David Andrew and Alan McBride

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An updated edition of ‘Thomas & Thomas’ is long overdue and the original authors along with David Andrew and Alan McBride are very pleased to see the March release of this update. The first guide was universally known as “Thomas & Thomas” or “T & T” and all felt it was important to keep that link. This one has affectionally come to be known as TIMTAM: it doesn’t quite fit but TimTam is a well know Aussie chocolate biscuit much loved by travelling birders on a junk food diet.

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Alan McBride is one of the author if the bird finding guide. @ Alan McBride

The book is intended to help both resident and visiting birders to visit a site for each species on the Aussie list (although with outlying territories this list is growing ridiculously large). It is NOT A SITE GUIDE though, it is simply a guide to finding the birds by highlighting the most accessible (not always easiest) site in each of the species range. Naturally some are covered in more than one state.

As with the first edition, it is divided into three main parts: the first is site information organised by locality per state; the second is a bird finding guide in which all Australian birds are listed in taxonomic order with hints on where and how to find them and finally there’s a section covering contact information, glossary and various appendices of further use or interest to birders. 

We hope you will find this new edition useful and the authors welcome any comments, suggestions and indeed any criticism. Please contact the authors through the publisher website. 

http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/21/pid/6411.htm

Birding sites are organised state-by-state starting with Victoria and running anti-clockwise around the country. Any apparent geographic bias is unintentional: obviously a birding trip around Australia could start wherever your base or arrival point is.

Taxonomy:

Common and scientific names are organised as per Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds by L. Christidis and W.E. Boles (CSIRO Publishing, 2008). A full discussion of taxonomy is beyond the scope of this book and we recommend ‘Christidis & Boles’ for more information.

The back of the book contains some practical hints on finding birds, a list of field guides and CDs that may be useful, a list of organisations, tour companies and individuals who are happy to help with further birding sites, local information and possibly even to assist visiting birders with transport and logistics.

Alan McBride is happy to be contacted by e-mail with questions. Alan works as a bird guide, writer, photographer and is a keen supporter of http://home.wildiaries.com where visiting birders can post there sightings and experiences Facebook style but simply for wildlife.

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