A Sky Full of Birds: In Search of Murders, Murmurations and Britain’s Great Bird Gatherings
By Matt Merritt | Rider & Co. | Hardback | April 2016 | 227 Pages | ISBN: 9781846044793
The Publisher’s View: Britain is a nation of bird-lovers. However, few of us fully appreciate the sheer scale, variety and drama of our avian life. From city-centre hunters to vast flocks straight out of the Arctic wilderness, much-loved dawn songsters to the exotic invaders of supermarket car parks, a host of remarkable wildlife spectacles are waiting to be discovered right outside our front doors. In A Sky Full of Birds, poet and nature writer Matt Merritt shares his passion for birdwatching by taking us to some of the great avian gatherings that occur around the British isles – from ravens in Anglesey and raptors on the Wirral, to Kent nightingales and Scottish capercallies. By turns lyrical, informative and entertaining, he shows how natural miracles can be found all around us, if only we know where to look for them.
Other Views: “Fascinating […] peppered with personal anecdotes, historical facts and myths to create a literary tapestry”
– David Lindo, author of The Urban Birder
“A compelling guided tour of British birding spectacles. Each chapter is packed with memorable encounters with birds, a timely reminder of why they matter so much to so many of us”
– Stephen Moss, author of Wild Hares and Hummingbirds
“Exhilarating […] vibrant and vivid”
– Stuart Winter, author of Tales of a Tabloid Twitcher
The Author: Matt Merritt is the Editor of Bird
Watching magazine, Britain’s best-selling bird watching magazine, and a published poet with four collections to his name. He is frequently invited to give talks and readings, and is the Poetry Editor of the literary magazine Under The Radar.
Fatbirder View:This is clever stuff, an accessible book for birders, written with a fluid, imaginative and poetic hand yet full of facts and well thought through opinion. Moreover, anyone could pick this up and, while learning a great deal about birds and birders, enjoy the spectacle of the avian world for its broad brush strokes and minute beauty.
The chapter on twitching is perhaps the best broadcast understanding I’ve seen. It neither condemns nor lauds twitching but sees it for what it is; a broad church encompassing sporting listers, expert birders, learners and long-term birders alike.
When a poet turned journalist writes about the aspect of the world he loves its no wonder that we are informed and enthralled. Great stuff!
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