The Urban Birder by David Lindo | Hardcover | New Holland Publishers | 2011 | ISBN: 9781847739506What the publishers say
Anyone can become an Urban Birder. You can do it anywhere and any time, whether you’ve got the day to spare, on your way to work, during your lunch break or just looking out of a window. Look up and you will see. This book is an inspirational look at the birdlife in our cities, or more accurately, the author’s personal journey of discovery involving encounters with racism, air rifle-toting youths, girls, alcohol, music, finding urban wildlife oases and of course, birds.
His story is entertaining and sometimes controversial, but the one guarantee is that the reader will be left feeling inspired enough to pick up a pair of binoculars and head to the nearest park.
Foreword by Stephen Moss.Fatbirder View
I’m sure David will forgive me when I say that while he is a fine fellow who has established his niche and is well received by the public, I have tended to find his magazine articles rather bland. Maybe it’s the contrast with my own ranting, florid or humourous style. He may well, therefore, be more surprised by what I am about to say…
I have now reviewed hundreds of birding books. Some I have dipped in and out of, others I admit to having skimmed, still others are references meant to be consulted not read from cover to cover. There have been many that I have enjoyed and quite a number I’ve read in two or three sittings savouring every word. What is extremely rare is for me to give up my Sunday afternoon (usually my day for indulgent movie watching or slobbing in front of the telly) and read a book, cover to cover, in one sitting. But today this is exactly what I’ve done!
Reading David’s birding autobiography wasn’t dramatic nor poetic, it wasn’t a rollercoaster of emotions nor punctuated by amazing revelations. It is a measured and relaxed accounting; a non-dramatic telling of an obsession, which appears positively normal. A working class, black boy growing up in the sixties and seventies in London developing such an interest is, in itself remarkable. That a parent or influential teacher did not prompt it makes it even more off the wall. Yet his telling of it is warm and soft, paced but not frenetic, measured and everyday leaving ones inner voice to say, ‘why not indeed?’
I can give no greater praise than to say this was a ‘good read’. Maybe we birders are normal afterall!