Feather­ings

South African Country Life - - Wheels -

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

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