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Which Field Guides for Asia and Australasia?

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Old Wednesday 19th July 2006, 23:44   #1
jimmyjames
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Which Field Guides for Asia and Australasia?

Hi. I need advice on good and hopefully portable field guies in Asia and S.America.

Which are recommended field guides for SE Asia, Japan, Australia, NZ, Japan?

Any advice gratefully received

Thanks

James
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Old Thursday 20th July 2006, 06:15   #2
Edward woodwood
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SE Asia has to be Craig Robson's book - very, very good

Australia - Simpson and Day worked fine for me - there's a thread on this i think
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Old Thursday 20th July 2006, 08:26   #3
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Pizzey & Knight - probably fair to say that this is generally regarded as the best of four that are all pretty good. Rather bulky and old fashioned, but excellent overall with good pictures and the most informative text of any.

Morecombe - my own favourite, probably the best choice if you are new to Australian birds, easily the best laid out and organised, informative text, some people don't like the pictures.

Simpson & Day - austere, very dry and uninformative, but possibly the best illustrations of any.

Slater & Slater - the oldest and it shows, but much smaller (good for pockets and your pocketbook), with good pictures and text that really helps the beginner get his bearings. Lacks a little compared to the three larger guides but stands up remarkably well. The major drawback is that the birds are not in taxonomic order and you can never find anything in it without recourse to the index.

I'd recommend starting with Morecombe, or else Pizzey & Knight, but any of the big four will do you fine.
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Old Saturday 22nd July 2006, 23:18   #4
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Also, to back up Tannin, the Morecombe is also available in a slimmed-down pocket guide, a similar size to the Slater.

Personally, I prefer Pizzey & Knight, but I also regularly own and use Morecombe as well, and find its in-illustration text to be especially helpful.
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2006, 03:45   #5
Mark Bruce
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Best SE Asian guide is as Tim said, "Birds of South East Asia" by Robson. Australia I have, "Birds of Australia" by Simpson & Day. For Japan there is, "A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan" by the Wild Bird Society of Japan. This guide is a little old and outdated but is still quite usable. You could also look at, "Birds of China" by MacKinnon & Phillipps. This was largely a pioneering work on China's birds and has its limitations but is still very usable and an invaluable guide to a large area of Asia.
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2006, 06:38   #6
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By the way, there is going to be a new version of Robson's guide coming out - I think slated to be published in November.
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Old Monday 28th August 2006, 20:41   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm visiting these areas this Northern winter through to next Northern Summer and will have to carry one or two of these around a bit so size is all important! I guess I can buy the Aussie one once I get there if I visit a city first!?! Cheers for th pointers

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Old Monday 28th August 2006, 21:08   #8
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When buying the "Birds of South-East Asia", make sure you get the New Holland Edition, it is easier to carry, and has Mekong Wagtail in it. ISBN 1-84330-746-4
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Old Monday 28th August 2006, 21:14   #9
jimmyjames
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno
When buying the "Birds of South-East Asia", make sure you get the New Holland Edition, it is easier to carry, and has Mekong Wagtail in it. ISBN 1-84330-746-4
Mekong who? Hee hee. I'm totally new to Asian birding. I guess that's a newly split wagtail? Thanks for the tip. I reckon I will definitely go for the Robson guide, probably waiting for the new November print if it comes out in time!
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Old Monday 28th August 2006, 21:21   #10
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Second Pizzey & Knight. Found the Slater guide good for an in the pocket book.

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Old Monday 28th August 2006, 23:39   #11
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Actually, the Wagtail was not really split, if I remember correctly. Nobody just ever bothered looking at it closely until a few years ago, when it turned out that existing specimens were labeled incorrectly. There is a good article here: Mekong Wagtail
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Old Wednesday 13th September 2006, 16:33   #12
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If everything in Oz is new to you, as it was to me on my trip there last year, I can thoroughly recommend Michael Morcombe's compact edition, whose layout should be an example for other field guides.
However, I was unable to resist the temptation to also buy Pizzey & Knight for its superb illustrations.

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Old Wednesday 20th September 2006, 19:35   #13
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NZ Fielguide

Hi,

For NZ there is only one true fieldguide that exists (reasonable quality but unsufficient for ID of all Seabirds in the region), that's the Heather and robinson (or robson...)... Anyway, it exists in two editions; a thin and leightweight ID-guide and a thickere and heavier Edition with more tect on each species. In your circumstances I would get the slim edition (buy it in NZ for the best price, if you want to go "prepared (as I always want to) you will have to pay a lot more because of extreme freightcosts (almost doubles the price of the book).

I am sorry I can't help you with a Fielguide of Japan. I second the Simpson and Day and the Craig Robson guides for Oz and SEA, both give you most you need.

Have fun, its quite a trip you are planning!

Cheers,
Leo
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Old Wednesday 18th October 2006, 01:40   #14
adrian c
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyjames
Hi. I need advice on good and hopefully portable field guies in Asia and S.America.

Which are recommended field guides for SE Asia, Japan, Australia, NZ, Japan?

Any advice gratefully received

Thanks

James
Hiya James,
Adrian here currently residing in Central Queensland just thought you might have a look at the field guide sized Readers Digest Book Of Australian birds , i find it invaluable as most plates are photo's so recognition is easier than with the illustrated type of guide, would also be helpful in locating the appropriate type of habitat you will locate different species etc.
Also got an illustrated guide by grahame & Prizzey ( at least i think thats the name ) think it field guide to australian birds.
hope thats of some help.
Adrian Cutts.
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Old Wednesday 18th October 2006, 08:00   #15
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When I left Australia with only my bag, I carried in it my favourite Australian Field Guide, and I have it here beside the computer and use it regularly when Tha Australian members post pictures of Australian Birds. The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds. I left Graham Pizzies Field Guide behind because I considered this one to be the best.
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Old Monday 30th October 2006, 11:09   #16
jimmyjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno
When buying the "Birds of South-East Asia", make sure you get the New Holland Edition, it is easier to carry, and has Mekong Wagtail in it. ISBN 1-84330-746-4
Hanno, which edition is the New Holland?
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Old Monday 30th October 2006, 22:47   #17
Hanno
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It is the 2005 edition, with the ISBN number I put in my book you should be able to easily order it (but I do not know if there is a later edition).
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