Good Reading : December January 2008
46 goodreading ı DECEMBER 2007/JANUARY 2008 coffee table Photographer Raoul Slater was introduced to the world of wildlife at a very early age: his father and mother were the writer and illustrator of the seminal Slater’s Field Guide to Australian Birds . Now Raoul has told the story of his life as a dedicated birder in a magnificent new book, Growing up with Australian Birds. It’s a double treat: not only does Raoul tell his story with great humour and charm (of the kestrel chick he had when he was a boy, he writes ‘Having him on my hand was like balancing a whisper and I loved him’) but the book is also a gallery of his beautiful photographs of Australia’s crowning glory, its unique birdlife, and a handbook on bird behaviour. Informative text tells us about courtship, cuckoo predation, parenting – and sneezing! For budding photographers, there’s another bonus: a section on setting up as a wildlife photographer, with advice on equipment, light, hides, stalking (in the nicest possible way) and using Photoshop. ‘When you are behind a camera,’ writes Raoul, ‘it should feel like there is a V8 engine in your head revving at the starting line.’ Raoul Slater has obviously won the race. birds of a feather The delicate backlit veins of an Australian Pelican’s pouch. A Rainbow Lorikeet sneezes upwind.