Tom Fort

Twitching

Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo

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John Murray 256pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

A Single Swallow: An Epic Journey from South Africa to South Wales

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Chatto & Windus 336pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Looking down my garden I see blackbirds, thrushes, blue tits, finches of various denominations, wood pigeons, collared doves, and sparrows. Occasionally a green woodpecker drops by to prod at the lawn. Several times a day red kites circle overhead looking for roadkill to gobble. Rooks dispute the tops of the copper beeches opposite. Sometimes at night I hear an owl; and the dawns are filled with chirpings and chirrupings.

In short, there is plenty of bird life around to satisfy me. Although I prefer fish, I like birds well enough, with certain exceptions. But I do not share Michael McCarthy’s righteous passion for them, or his sense of outrage at their fate in this beastly modern world.

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