Book review: A Supremely Bad Idea

By , February 12, 2014

 A Supremely Bad Idea – Three Mad Birders and their Quest to See it All  by Luke Dempsey

I’ve been reading several books in the birding genre lately and this one stood out as a very thorough and humorous travelogue with some real insights to what can transpire over a “big year”.

The author, a self-depricating but slightly combative Brit joins forces with two veteran birders and they truly cover a lot of ground in search of such rarely seen birds as the elegant trogon.

The book is nicely divided by their itineraries which include home base Central Park and North East environs, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, the Pacific Northwest, Texas and Colorado with a jaunt by Don and Donna to Costa Rica.  Luke also interweaves his personal family memories and situations in the brief  “Now What?” chapters between mad birding adventures.

The three make for quite a team with humorous jousting among them a constant.  Each is certainly a colorful quirky character and I often found myself laughing out loud at some of what they got into.  The author (self dubbed Small Injustice Man) never one to shy away from a minor skirmish at a cheap motel, really brings us into their world.  Many memorable passages and situations have stayed in my mind long after I put this on my read shelf.

Great book – funny, insightful and it includes some terrific photos!


2 Responses to “Book review: A Supremely Bad Idea”

  1. crystal says:

    What’s your most unusual Tennessee bird sighting?

  2. Phil K. says:


    I’d have to say the piliated woodpecker I saw on a stump a few years ago – really very large and quite striking. I also had a barred owl that came out in the evenings for several months in 2011 – Roger – that was really cool seeing him in my backyard!

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