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Big Twitch: One Man, One Continent, a Race Against Time: A True Story about Birdwatching
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Big Twitch: One Man, One Continent, a Race Against Time: A True Story about Birdwatching

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  19 reviews
As a self-proclaimed twitcher—a birdwatching extremist who travels around the country trying to catch a glimpse of as many species of birds as possible—the author tooka year off in 2002 with the goal of seeing 700 birds and thereby breaking the national record for most birds seen in one year. In this amusing memoir, he recounts his quest, including how he spent all of his ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Allen & Unwin (first published October 1st 2005)
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Birds, Australia, a self-deprecating memoir of an obsession - my kind of book! So far all I'm wishing for are pictures or at least more detailed maps. If I were reading it digitally, I would definitely be googling every bird, every locale. Even though I'm reading it in paper I had to look up some. Check out the Rainbow Lorikeet - apparently that's a common backyard bird in Melbourne!

Done. Loved it. Kept giggling out loud and annoying my family with comments & other reactions. Bonu
The Big Twitch is the Australian equivalent of "The Big Year" - an attempt to see the most birds possible in one year. In 2002, Sean Dooley decides to try to see 700 birds in one year in Australia - the current record was 634.

He starts out with an aren't-I-funny-ha-ha style that I do not like, but with some exceptions he discards that style and, although light reading, he provides interesting information about the birds, the environment, and the people who watch birds. Since I know little about
The record for a "Big Year" in Australia was 633 birds. That was before Sean Dooley decided to spend his year breaking it. Not only did he want to break it, he wanted to annihilate it. He set himself the goal of seeing and identifying 700 birds from January 1 to December 31, 2002.

It helped that he didn't have much of a personal life at the time - no family, no significant other, no one to slow him down. No 9:00 to 5:00 job either. He was a comedy writer in real life, but that wasn't requiring mu
I love birds and birdwatching. I enjoyed reading about Sean Dooley's quest to become the first birder to see more than 700 birds in one year in Australia. The Big Twitch also reads like a good travel novel and gives the readers an idea of what it is like to travel throughout Australia. Dooley travels around Australia more than once from the middle of the outback to Australia's various islands. I admire his dedication and his skill as a birder. Non birders may be frustrated by the lists of all th ...more
Very entertaining.
Cheryl Davis
This book is a fascinating, funny, and moving account of Sean Dooley's attempt to break the record for the number of bird species seen in Australia in one year. Part travelogue, part celebration of the birds and the Country, and part love story - this was a fantastic book to read as both a birder and as someone planning a move to Australia. It is also responsible for the fact that I am now an avid lister myself - life list, year list, patch list, garden list..........
Aaah, the geeky bird watcher in me comes out. I really enjoyed this book. I thought this was a fun read, even though I wasn't familiar with most of the Australian birds or locations. Reading this made me want to go out and get obsessive about my bird watching. He has a good sense of humor about his obsessive birding.
If every bird watcher had as good a sense of humor as Sean does, maybe the sport/hobby/compulsion would be more widely understood and accepted.
Dooley's a very funny guy and definitely has plenty of bizarre and heartwarming stories to tell about his adventure and fellow birders. Now where can I find that Zitting Cisticola again...
Liz Hackett
Top read, even if you aren't into birdwatching. Sean is a great comic writer and makes a subject which isn't mainstream easily accessable.
Paul Dodd
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!)
Paul Hackett
A funny, informative read of one mans quest to see as many Australian birds as possible in one year.
A fun light-hearted story of a young man spending a year birding in Australia. It is easy and fun to read.
best entertaining book i read for a while. thanks dooley. :-)
Easily the funniest birding book I've ever read, and that's saying something.
Brilliant...I would kill to be able to do what he did.
Carrie Clayton
Fun read for birders or non-birders.
entertaining book for armchair twitchers!!!
Lotta fun to read!
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