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Bill Oddie's Little Black Bird Book [Paperback]

Bill Oddie
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1998
'Bird-watchers are tense, competitive, selfish, shifty, dishonest, distrusting, boorish, pedantic, unsentimental, arrogant and - above all - envious'. So says Bill Oddie, and he should know! It's a tough environment out there on marsh and moorland, and this scurrilous little classic is a must for all devoted birders and twitchers (and as Bill relates, there is a mighty difference!). With years of hard-earned experience, Bill dares to say all the things that other b's and t's will recognize as true but which they have never dared to own up or admit to, even to themselves. Whether discussing the birds he's seen, the birds that got away, equipment, apparel, sightings, cock-ups, places to visit or people to avoid, Bill's enthusiasm is infectious, and his knowledge unsurpassed. This little black book is one item that no serious birdwatcher can afford to leave out of the rucksack, and it will prove an essential companion when trudging the estuaries and riverbanks, in torrential rain and gusty gale in search of that elusive rare beauty.

Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Aeronautical Books; New Ed edition (1 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860519597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860519591
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 501,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Publisher

This title is being updated and reprinted for May 2006.

About the Author

Comedy writer, pop singer, musician, TV presenter, entertainer, naturalist, environmental campaigner and author, Bill Oddie is one of Britain's best-loved personalities. One-time star of The Goodies, he is latterly most famous for his popular BBC shows Springwatch and Autumnwatch. Bill is popularly acknowledged as one of the UK's leading experts on bird-watching, and in October 2003 he was awarded an OBE for his services to Wildlife Conservation.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's a bit mental really - but in a good way 27 Aug 2006
A wonderful read with a whole load of information. It takes on the feel of a group therapy session - "My name is Bill and I am addicted to small feathered animals". If you share this strange fixation and want to find a name for your obsession this is the book for you.

I enjoyed the wonderful chapter on what a bird officianado calls themselves. From hard core "twitcher" to "not an ornithologist". There are many more titles for you to conjure with. "Bird fancier" isn't good. Apparantly.

A good giggle.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Very funny and most of it true, probably. Heaps of information about people who are involved in bird orientated pass times. The two main categories are "birders" and "twitchers" though Bill does refer briefly to "ornithologists" and "dudes". "Bird watcher ... is not the correct term." The correct one, "birder", refers to folks who go out looking for birds and involves "ruggedness" and athleticism". So what's a person who watches birds from the comfort of their living room arm chair then? That's me. Persona non grata in the vocabulary of birders and twitchers.
This book serves as both a guide and a warning - a bit like a hand book on drugs (I imagine). Don't do it! But if you must do it, you'll need the following clothing, equipment, mentality and so on. If there was ever any danger of my drifting towards a life of birding, then degenerating into a mad twitcher, this book has saved me. Who would want to be "gripped off" by some smug neurotic in a grubby anorak? What bird lovers would mercilessly chase rare (in this country at least) birds that have been blown off course and accidentally landed in Britain, when all the poor little beggars want, is to catch their breath and get their bearings? No, I'll stick with watching my garden birds and recording what I see on the garden bird survey form. Thanks Bill.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
There are few books that we can truly say affect us throughout our life. My personal list include Lolita, Heart of Darkness, Quo Vadis .... and Bill Oddie's Little Black Bird Book. To say that it rocked my life's foundations would be an understatement. It unashamedly ripped me away from being a young impressionable young man perfectly content at watching a flock of "waders" wheel dramatically against a winter skyline, to now cursing the low sun because I can't get any feather detail on the end one that looks a "bit small for a Dunlin". This book is about birds and birders, but if you want to look for philosophical debate it will also tell you a lot about why certain people spot trains, collect Toby Mugs, or never miss a match neither home nor away for 23 years. But it's really about birds.
If you're a bird-watcher you must read this book. If you're a birder, you already have. And if you're neither it'll turn you off bird-watching for ever, which as Bill says is no bad thing because there's too many of us already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Original! 30 Jan 2009
Bill Oddie's Little Black Bird Book (BOLBBB) is a wonderful addition to the 'Birder'/'Twitcher' communities, in other words everybody that is interested in birds will get a fantastic [and very hard] kick out of reading this. Where as guides contain an encyclopedic list of references, BOLBBB is an easy to read general advice book covering the highs and lows of bird watching in general, types of birds to watch and their geographical location.

There are superbly sketched diagrams throughout the book with a very good splashing of Bill Oddie's fantastic sense of humour. The only bad thing about the book is that it hasn't been available for a while, now it's back buy it now!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not as described 23 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately the book was not factory sealed and wrapped and the cover is slightly damaged ! But it was only a penny so not worth complaining to the supplier about ! Also not as the picture , but black cover !

Nicky White
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