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Winging It: Birding for Low-flyers

…tag along with an average birder

Winging It: Birding for Low-flyers by Andrew Fallan | 146 Pages | Brambleby Books | Softcover | 2011 | #186654 | ISBN-13: 9780955392856
With a foreword by Chris Packham

Overview:

Do you have a passion for wildlife, and do you enjoy watching birds? Are you also hopeless at identifying some of the more difficult ones? Do you feel lost without a field guide, and can you count on both hands the number of birds that you can identify by their calls alone?

If the answer to these questions is 'yes' you are not alone. In Winging it - Birding for low-flyers, Andrew Fallan recounts the highs and the lows, the trials and tribulations, of being an avid birder in a world seemingly populated by experts and high-flyers. All those with an interest in birds and other wildlife will identify with and enjoy these engaging tales. Hence, they are invited to join an often humorous and irreverent journey around the UK: from the heavily industrialised Thames estuary to Minsmere and the north Norfolk coast, from the Scilly Isles to the majestic scenery of Wales, all the way in fact to the rocky grandeur of the highlands and islands of Scotland. Against the backdrop of our green and pleasant land, the author examines - through his own experiences - the often spectacular beauty of our wildlife, and encourages us to seek solace in the simple enjoyment of birds.

This is Andrew Fallan's first book. Already as a child he was a keen birdwatcher, growing up in southeast Essex, and going on bike trips with his brother. This hobby remains strong despite many of life's diversions and when he eventually meets his true love ‘Panda', she joined him on many a fantastic birding trip around the green and pleasant British countryside.Fatbirder View

Food snobs assume that the height of culinary excellence is the most pretentious of fine dining; scallops one a bed of celeriac puree with a truffle foam and individually shelled peas perhaps. There is no doubt that the refined pallet can appreciate subtle flavours and exotic ingredients. However, they assume that more humble ingredients with no refinements must be the gourmet’s nadir. Poor people’s food must, they suppose be cooked poorly. Recently, Michelle Roux Jr. was asked what dish he would have if he could have no other. It took no time for this Michelin starred artist to answer, Lobster tails cooked with garlic batter and big fat chips. For myself I enjoy fine dining without the pretention, perhaps a sea bass in a simple meunière so as not to overpower its subtle sweetness. But I also enjoy more humble food well cooked and one of the simplest dishes is one made in heaven – egg and chips. No one could ever accuse this dish of pretention, but cooked well (none of your runny or leathery egg white nor undercooked or burnt chips) it has as much right to be put before a discerning diner as pâté de foie gras or oysters and champagne.

I mention all this because ‘Winging It’ is an egg and chip meal cooked for us by an egg and chip birder and is none the worse for that. Following the fumbling everyday birder is just as entertaining as hearing the tales of the travels of one of birding’s doyennes. You do not have to have hacked your way through rain forest and discovered the long lost oozlum bird to be able to write an entertaining tale nor be able to ID the most obscure LBJ to share your adventures with a reader.

There is no birder out there who never gets it wrong, although there are a great many who would have you believe otherwise so it is refreshing to tag along with an average birder who can demonstrate that the richness and beauty of birding is all about the experience not the theory. Nice one Andrew.

Fatbirder

Buy this book from www.nhbs.com

Hear an Interview with the Author on Talking Naturally: http://www.talking-naturally.co.uk/tn88-author-interview-andrew-fallan-winging-it/