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BOOK REVIEW: A Sky Full of Birds by Matt Merritt

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

 

The Blurb (From Goodreads)

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.


My Thoughts:

Matt Merritt is a poet and the editor of Bird Watching magazine, and in this beautiful book he brings together his love of words and birds into one beautiful package.

I’ve always liked birds too. I do my best to tell magpies apart from currawongs, and I’d love to see an owl in flight one day. I also love the collective nouns for birds – murders of crows, murmurations of starlings and exaltations of larks, for example.

Matt Merritt writes with simple and lyrical elegance of his own fascination with gatherings of birds, weaving in personal experience with quotations from a 10th century Anglo-Saxon poem about wild swans, Shakespeare, Samuel Coleridge and other writers and poets.

Each chapter is a self-contained essay about a different kind of bird, so it’s an easy book to pick up and read and then put down and leave for a while. A lovely addition to my collection of books about the natural world.

If you like reading interesting non-fiction books about nature, you might also like Rising Ground by Phillip Marsden.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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