Simon Barnes is one of Britain's leading bird writers and humorists. His weekly column in The Times, essays for the RSPB magazine and two best-selling books on birdwatching have made him one of the characters of the bird world. Here he reads his own illuminating introductions to the 50 main birds of Britain. These are supported by the distinguishing bird song of each species. He gives helpful identifying features, and enriches them with whimsical observations on their characters and tendencies.
Unabridged audiobook edition.
Read by Simon Barnes.
4 CDs. 5 hours.
Simon Barnes is one of Britain’s leading bird writers and humorists. His weekly column in The Times, his essays for the RSPB magazine and his two books on bad bird-watching have made him one of the characters of the bird world. Here he reads his own illuminating introductions to the fifty main birds of Britain, supported by the distinguishing bird song of each species. He not only gives helpful identifying features, but enriches them with whimsical observations on their characters and tendencies. It is a delightful text, superbly presented by the author himself.
'As a committed non-twitcher, I’m eternally grateful to Simon Barnes for inspiring me to get up at daybreak this morning to listen to the dawn chorus. His latest quirky bird book, with its gloriously uplifting recordings of birdsong, is tailor-made for audio and will help you to identify the 50 British birds he writes so engagingly and enthusiastically about. Don’t worry, this isn’t a field guide full of statistics that requires you to buy binoculars, keep a diary and make endless lists. It is that rarest of manuals, a handbook that makes you want to go out and discover for yourself if all the fascinating things he has told you about robins, blackbirds, yellowhammers and buzzards are really true. If chaffinches were rare, he writes, they’d be prized above Siberian ruby-throats and red-flanked bluetails. Here he is writing about chaffinches in spring: “The cock is outrageous, admire him – a cap of more or less Wedgwood blue, conker-brown back and a breast of the tartiest pink any designer could come up with.” If you follow the precise instructions for identification at the start of each section, you can’t fail. “Wren: where to look – tangled undergrowth, low down. When to look – all year round. What to look for – tiny tawny bird, cocky tail. What to listen for – astonishing volume.” This is followed by a generous earful of wren song. I love his descriptions of, say, mistle thrushes – “big, chunky and hops in a bold, rather in-your-face way” – and song thrushes – “the jazz musicians of suburbia”. By the way, wood pigeons don’t coo. What they’re actually saying, in a cooing sort of way, is “steal two cows taffy”. Don’t believe me? Get out there and listen.' Sue Arnold, The Guardian
Publication date: 02/04/2007
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks
|Publication date:||2nd April 2007|
|Categories:||Wildlife: birds & birdwatching, Reference works,|
Simon Barnes, the well-loved and frequently controversial columnist for the RSPB's Birds magazine, is the author of a dozen books, including three on wildlife and three novels. He is also the award-winning chief sportswriter for the Times. He lives in Suffolk with his family and has seen a barn owl, kingfisher and marsh harrier in his garden.More About Simon Barnes