Not a birdwatcher myself, I’m always moved by the passion of these flight-following pilgrims. And to passion, add poetry. In his preface to this collection of twitchers tales, editor Vernon Head says, ‘Watching wild birds upon the land, inside a cloud or deep within an ocean is to see differently.’ The lyrical note echoes through the contributions, his own and others, like birdsong in a forest. Radio head John Maytham uses ‘bird’ as a doing word, and points out that the activity provides plenty of storytelling opportunities, and shares some jaw droppers – literally. Quoting from the Birdwatch website, he says that to be an outstanding birdwatcher, you need, ‘The eyes of a hawk, hearing of an owl, a photographic memory and a sixth sense for knowing where and when to watch.” You need none of these attributes to appreciate the whispering wonder that winged ones have evoked in these authors. A vicarious pleasure.
Editor: Vernon R L Head Reviewer: Nancy Richards
Publisher: Jacana ISBN: 978-1-43142-579-2
Price: R250 Giveaway code: FEATHERS