| By: Sue Taylor | John Beaufoy Publishing | 2021 | Paperback | 224 Pages | 300 colour photos & 100 maps | ISBN: 9781913679101 | £19.99p |
The Publisher’s View:
Fully updated from the 2013 version that exclusively published in Australia, The 100 Best Birdwatching Sites in Australia is about having fun birding. This second edition contains the author’s personal selection of 100 of the best birdwatching sites in all states, territories and islands of Australia. The sites are chosen for the large number of species or the large number of special birds to be found in each one. In some cases, the sites are quite specific, such as Hasties Swamp, some are huge (Lakefield National Park), some are lengthy (the Strzelecki Track) and some cover a whole district, such as Katherine. Sue Taylor’s engaging narrative describes the efforts she goes to in search of particular species. For each site she covers the type of habitat, which special species may be found there and when is the best time to visit. She lists four birds to look out for. Photographs show the site and two of the species that inhabit it whether as residents or as seasonal visitors.
The Author: Sue Taylor is a keen birdwatcher and twitcher. She has seen over 800 Australian birds on her travels throughout Australia and its territories. After a series of administrative jobs, she embarked on a freelance writing career in 1998 and has since written short stories, newspaper articles and five books on birdwatching. She is also the author of Birding Australia’s Islands, published by John Beaufoy Publishing.
There is a lot to enjoy here, not least sumptuous photos from some of Australia’s best and a well-designed book from the publishers. The individual accounts certainly cover some of the best places for birds on the continent. From my visits I can endorse the selection of world-renowned sites like Cairns, Broome and Townsville Common.
Sue Taylor writes with a chatty style which gives one a feel for some of the places and the entries are certainly atmospheric.
Having said that, and acknowledging it is a ‘where to watch birds in Australia’, in the sense that it covers all the top places to bird, it’s not a book one could use to target particular species, or make choices of where to go when based in a particular part of Australia in anything other than the most general sense.
Perhaps I was expecting more of a site by site guide with location maps, best times to visit and all the other ways to compare one site with another from a practical birding point of view. Although, I am sure, should we ever get to return, my wife will appreciate the references to those places having far too many spiders
Sue is a top birder with an incredible wealth of experience and she shares that in an engaging way. So, perhaps the book would be better served with a more personalised title, such a ‘Sue Taylor’s favourite birding places in Australia’.