Bird Books

The Great Australian Birdfinder

Second and subsequent printings printings, jacket used for second and later printings (Weldon Publishing) Ure Smith, and others. Jacket shows a male Mistletoebird.

The Great Australian Birdfinder: Lansdowne Press, Dee Why, 1986. Jacket shows an Azure Kingfisher flying into is nest tunnel entrance in a vertical creek bank.

Top: A tiny Spotted Pardalote, inhabitant of Australia's coastal forests, dives into its creekbank nest tunnel. Left: The Spotted Harrier of the most colourful of birds of prey, usually seen gliding low over spinifex or other grasslands of Australia's semi-arid interior. Its nest however is typically situated in a tall tree.

This book describes a number of natural bird region around Australia, and the birds unique to, or most typical of, those regions. There are notes on best birding sites, access, season to visit, and birds of interest. It is at present out of print, but could at some time be updated and issued as a smaller format guidebook or in CD or DVD.

Australian Birds in the Wilderness

This book I intended to be titled 'In The Wild', meaning, photographed wild and free, not constrained , caged or tamed by man, behaving naturally, without inhibition, as if unaware of camera or photographer....this usually requiring some wildlife photographic skills. Birds can be wild and free over farmlands, parks and backyard gardens. However the publisher made a last-minute change to 'Wilderness', ...sounded more "exciting", but not at all in keeping with the original concept.

So while all these birds were photographed 'wild and free', and their habitats included many remote and relatively unspoiled regions, some were also inhabitants of pastoral and agricultural country. Included are notes on photographic techniques and equipment.

The Square-tailed Kite is at close quarters a beautifully pumaged raptor. The under-body is streaked and blotched with rich rust and blackish markings, while the face is mostly white. This latter feature is often visible at distances up to 500 metres in bright lighting conditions, and made more obvious by the kite's slow low-gliding flight.

This photograph of the kite on its nest, in a tree at a height of about 10 metres (33 feet). The photograph was taken from a hide built ampng the branches of the tree , using a Mamiya RB 67 camera, and with lighting provided by three flashes plus sunlight. This species is in most regions rather rare, but ther are localities where if remains moderately common.

The brightly plumaged Orange Chat confines itself to a habitat where it is not often sighted. This is a bird of Australia's arid interior, a nomadic species usually found in the low vegetation around the margins in inland salt lakes. Here the nest is built in a low shrub, typically around 30 to 40 cm above ground; often these shrubs are standing in shallow water. These birds, like so many others of the arid interior, move from areas of drought to those where there has been rain, hence the importance of planning a birding trip to take account of rainfall over the past 3 to 6 months. Visit Bird~Finder pages )

Although initially very shy, and wary of revealing the nest location, they will eventually, if approached with care and patience, allow photos to be obtained, either by use of a very long telephoto lens, or at closer range from a hide.

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