Just a couple of really good books I have read recently
First off is Stuart Winter's - Tales of a Tabloid Twitcher
Decent book and some very interesting stories that are both funny and a little on the bizarre from Stuart (who was a journo for both the Daily Star and now the Daily Express and a self confessed twitcher) You may have read one of his columns called "For the birds"
From his first experience as a twitcher in which involved a trek across the Yorkshire moors in his suit that he was wearing for an interview that day to the glimpse of a Yellow throat while the pushing, shoving, stealing of optics and a drunken slurs from green eyed punters added to the mix.
Some other great chapters about his heroes and legends also makes an interesting read.
2nd is Simon Barnes - How to be a bad birdwatcher
I love this book - yes for more advanced birders its a bit obvious but that is the point of the book; being obvious.
Simon looks at the more natural element of bird watching rather than keeping lists and searching for rarities.
Its a really feel good book and funny at times (Barnes has a very dry sense of humour especially when he describes how we have more in common with birds than dogs)
For anyone who is a beginner at bird watching this book is a must read! In fact buy it for anyone even if they dont like the idea of birdwatching this book will change thier minds.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. - Albert Einstein
Great recommendation for the avid bird book lovers. It is nice not to stick to the straight and narrow all of the times with bird books,and see it from other peoples point of view in the big birding world out there. It is even better with the expressed words to build up a picture of what the author thinks as it is put across to the reader.
I will look into getting these books for a Xmas present for or from Dave.
Thank you for sharing
Just to say I bought the latest Collins books of birdwatching by Lars Svensson 2nd edition from the bird Fair and it is a very useful tool to have.
Kathy and Dave
I've got the book 'how to be a bad birdwatcher' great isn't it!
I've also got many Bill Oddie books and few dozens of other bird books!
'Dip a dee dah, dip a dee ay, we're not seeing any birds to-day...'
In reply to Tern:
It certainly is a great book and Simon Barnes also writes some really good articles for the RSPB Birds magazine.
Currently I am reading Tim Dee's - The Running skies. Its quite a poetic book but with interesting facts and observations and he also gives some great tips on other books, in which I purchased one called the Shell book of birds - Originally printed in 1966 by an author called James Fisher,
This book is the original bird book of Britain and has some excellent writing on bird history and evolution as well as all the species that are around us today and is still renowned for its writing on each species (the pictures are not great for reference purposes) but this book is more about its words than its illustrations.
You can pick it up online for about 10 quid
In reply to Craig B:
Colin Tudge, The Secret life of Birds. I found this a great read. Colin Tudge conveys an awe of birds and their importance in our environment. It's got a lot of scientific and technical stuff about evolution and classification but I found it easy to read. I did skim a bit when there was more detail than I could manage at the time. But it also has chapters going through facts and anecdotes about all the different birds. There are chapters about migration, sex, history and adaptation to different environments. I found it absolutely gripping and fascinating. Penguin, 9.99
Janice Hughes, The Migration of Birds is another one I can recommend for the content but it might be more expensive. My husband gave me the hardback for Christmas last year. It also deals with evolution and history, and covers how birds are designed to fly and breathe for migration. There is a lot of stuff about research into migration and some wonderful chapters with photos and diagrams of individual species and their sometimes wierd and wonderful migrations. Although it is a scientific book it tells a great story and has some fun in it.
And I have also enjoyed The Running Skies and the Bad Birdwatcher - Great fun!
Just seen Simon Barnes on a HILARIOUS program about Bird song- my wife was in fits of laughter at me contradicting all the rubbish in the first half- it perked up when the Massachusettes expert appeared :)
For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides, binoculars, scopes, tripods, etc - put 'Birding Tips' into the search box
In reply to seymouraves:
Prof. Kroodsma is cool:)
The musician guy seems completely ignorant of the fact that a lot of everyday birdsong is either beyond the scope of human hearing due to speed or frequency , or is not necessarily tuneful :))
Hi- now they are slowing bird song down and are impersonating it then speeding it up again
Just like my mate Big Jake did to make wader tapes in the 1970s-
These guys need to do more research
S- Birding's Victor Meldrew :))
In reply to Dunnock:
Colin Tudge also wrote "The Secret Life of Trees" which if you can find a copy (not sure it's still in print) is a fascinating insight into these plants, and full of surprises.
Also in the bookshops right now, and a must for anyone who loves beautiful nature-writing, is a new edition of A Baker's classic "The Peregrine" and his not-so-well-known follow-up "The Hill of Summer" (two books in one volume). Baker spent many winters following peregrines around the Essex coastal landscapes and "The Peregrine" is a wonderful distillation of his experiences. The style of writing is poetic.
"The Hill of Summer" is a set of vignettes, descriptions of visits to a wide range of English habitats in the months of summer. It has less of a 'story' to it than the earlier book but is still a wonderful evocation of place and natural history experiences.
Happy Christmas shopping!
In reply to Colin Wilkinson:
Tim Dee mentions the Peregrine book in his own book as a must read.
Some say that this book was made up in parts but who knows. Its meant to be a beautifully written read.
try books by Charles Tunnicliffe and Eric Ennion :)
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