Big Twitch: One Man, One Continent, a Race Against Time - a True Story about Birdwatching
Sean Dooley seems like a well adjusted, functioning member of society but beneath the respectable veneer he harbours a dark secret. He is a hard-core birdwatcher (aka twitcher').
Sean takes a year off to try to break the Australian twitching record - he has to see more than 700 birds in twelve months. Travelling the length and breadth of Australia, he stops at nothing in search of this birdwatching Holy Grail, blowing his inheritance, his career prospects and any chance he has of finding a girlfriend.
Part confessional, part travelogue, this is a true story about obsession. It's about seeking the meaning of life, trying to work out what normal' is, and searching for the elusive Grey Falcon (the bird, not the car). Sean's story of how he followed his childhood dream of becoming a national champion is both inspiring and ridiculous. Could this be the most pathetic great achievement in Australian history?
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Big Twitch: One Man, One Continent, a Race Against Time: A True Story about BirdwatchingUser Review - Stefan - Goodreads
Very entertaining. Read full review
Review: Big Twitch: One Man, One Continent, a Race Against Time: A True Story about BirdwatchingUser Review - Paul Dodd - Goodreads
A must read for all birders! Sean has a self-deprecating sense of humour that makes this book a joy to read (and re-read!) Read full review
still no girlfriends
Official Big Twitch List
actually amongst arrived Australia Big Twitch binoculars bird birders birdwatching bloke Blue-and-white Flycatcher boat trip Box-Ironbark Bridled Tern Brisbane bush Button-quail Chiltern coast couldn’t couple dark didn’t dipped drive feel finally forest Grasswren Grey Falcon Grey Grasswren Groober habitat head Heron hundred kilometres island kick kilometres Kununurra later Little Bittern looking luck Mallee managed Melbourne metres Mike Carter minutes missed morning Mount moved National Park nest never night Norfolk Norfolk Island ocean Outback Parrot pelagic Perth Petrel pick Port Fairy Queensland rainforest rare realised record Regent Honeyeater River road Sandpiper seabirds Seaford seemed seen Shearwater sight someone Sooty Owl South species spent Spinifexbird spotlight started stopped Streaked Shearwater sure swamp Sydney there’s thing thought tick town track tree tropical turned twitchers Victoria wandered wanted White-necked Petrel Whiteface wildlife Year’s
Page 27 - Lord Alanbrooke, keen birder and Chief of Imperial General Staff during the Second World War, was expanding on his relations with Sir Winston Churchill. But in the midst of the FieldMarshal's historical monologue, Tory Peterson turned to the group and said, "I guess oystercatchers will eat most any kind of mollusk".
Page 36 - Institution lias suggested that if we need tankers for defense we can buy them cheaply in today's depressed tanker market and put them in reserve. What is wrong with that argument ? Mr. MASKIN. Off the top of my head I could think of at least three disadvantages to that proposal.
Page 96 - ... expression, blown out of the water. Not at that meeting, because everyone knew whatever I came back and wrote and suggested to my colleagues might have some impact. But literally by the time I got back to my hotel room, my hotel room — I was in Warsaw. I did this at 6 pm So what time was it here? But by the time I got back to my hotel room, I was greeted by Dr. Haltzel telling me that we had scores of calls from PolishAmerican groups, as well as groups around the country, around Europe, Polish-Americans...
Page 149 - ... up and asked us what we were doing. We told them we were looking for corellas.
Page 27 - There was an uncomfortable silence at the other end of the line. After about twenty seconds he managed, 'There's a Broad-billed Sandpiper at Werribee Sewage Farm.
Page 158 - Even when you can scramble to a slight rise for a vista, for as far as you can see there is nothing but the uniform khaki of mallee-clad dunes.