August 20, 2019


Don Knowler portraitDescribing my new life in Tasmania, after I had left Britain in the mid-1990s, I told  friends I was “dancing on the edge of the world’’. I had borrowed the phrase from the Beat Poets who migrated to San Francisco from the East Coast of America in the 1950s, and it described perfectly a world so different from the one I had left behind – the hectic Fleet Street where I worked on the Independent newspaper. The less frenetic life in Tasmania gave me time to write a weekly column on bird-watching for my new employer, the Mercury in Hobart, and this website largely draws on these, along with other essays I have written on wildlife.

I am also the author of two books on birds – The Falconer of Central Park published in the United States,  and Dancing on the Edge of the World, a collection of essays – and have also contributed to Central Park: An Anthology, published in April 2012 by Bloomsbury USA.

Forever a newspaperman, I also write a blog on journalism for the website.  It’s the story of journalism, once; a series of short stories about the characters I met in the newsrooms of old, told through an imaginary newspaper still locked in the past, The Chronicle in Hobart.

Any description of this website must make mention of  the artist who produces the illustrations for it, Tim Squires, who is also its designer.  My “On the Wing” column really took flight when  Tim came on board in 2010. I knew Tim from not only his “day job” as an artist at the Mercury but the illustrations he produced for the acclaimed Animals of Tasmania, wildlife of an incredible island, produced with zoologist and writer Sally Bryant. More of Tim’s work can be found at