3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Birds, birds, glorious birds!,
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This review is from: Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience (Hardcover)
My word, what a delightful book! Years ago (I hate to think how long ago) I was an avid birdwatcher myself, devoting virtually all my spare time observing these wonderful creatures. And although work, kids and whatnot have greatly diminished the time I can spend birding, whenever I see a bird flying high in the sky I still cannot but try to determine what species it is, and my binoculars are always in my bags whenever and wherever I travel. This is not to say that I am an expert, on the contrary (compared to Jeremy Mynott I am clearly just a dabbler), but the greatest charm of this book is perhaps that it has as much to offer to 'non-birders' as to obsessive twitchers.
Birds have always enchanted and intrigued mankind, have they not? Is it because they can fly and have 'this freedom' of the air' as Mynott puts it, living their lives halfway between earth and heaven? And why are there so many cities, countries, sports clubs that have birds (perhaps most of all eagles) as an emblem? Birds figure in countless myths, stories and poems, they figure on stamps, Shakespeare wrote about them, and so did Keats...
About all this and a lot more Mynott has written a truly wonderful book. It's not in the least academic or heavy-handed though it's packed with learning, and the fact that the ten chapters are 'not a systematic treatise of any kind, rather a series of linked reflections' as he says in the introduction makes it all the more charming. Even if you don't know a robin from a wren, you'll enjoy every minute of it!