A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching by Stephen Moss; The Strange Death of British Birdsong by Michael Waterhouse; How To Be A Bad Birdwatcher by Simon Barnes - review by David Profumo

David Profumo

Buggering the Bittern

A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching

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Aurum Press 375pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

The Strange Death of British Birdsong

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Landmark Countryside Collection 304pp £24.95 order from our bookshop

How To Be A Bad Birdwatcher

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Short Books 200pp £9.99 order from our bookshop
 

Not so long ago, a Hebridean gamekeeper of some notoriety was arraigned before the island sheriff for being in possession of a dead corncrake. When asked why he had killed it, he replied simply that he liked eating them, and was duly sentenced. Out of curiosity, the beak then enquired what this rare creature tasted like: 'Weel, now,' came the considered response, 'I'd say it was some way betwixt a peregrine and an osprey.'

All professions have their rotten apples, and it's well known that the odd bishop will filch pages out of incunabula. These days, though, gamekeepers have a hard time of it, despite the fact that each hectare of the land they manage supports more songbirds by far than any equivalent terrain

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