Flying High : Discover the Poetry in British Birds

Flying High
Anneliese Emmans Dean
Publisher:  Brambleby Books, Taunton
Page Count:  136
ISBN Number:  9781908241504

BTO's vision is 'a world inspired by birds and informed by science' and with this in mind one could be forgiven for thinking that 'Flying High' was written to support our strategy! It hits a beautifully sweet spot, effortlessly combining very entertaining but informative poetry with lovely photographs and bite-sized but accurate facts. It is a book that adults and children alike will learn from and enjoy, and it lends itself very well to 'dipping in', either just for fun, or as a reference book. It runs to 136 pages and packs a lot in, covering forty-nine species and giving a good overview of the UK's avifauna. With trademark good humour, Anneliese brings each species to life, capturing the essence and adding sparkle and shimmer. This book does far more than introduce each species, however - readers will find themselves effortlessly learning about all sorts of things:

Learn migration, incubation,
and wood-pecker beak vibration.
Noise pollution, persecution,
and learn preening (or ablution).

Learn nocturnal, learn diurnal,
from this book which ain't no journal.
Doesn't bore us with dawn chorus
or its tales of grouse-moor fuss.

Learn birds fledging, slowly edging
from Cotoneaster hedging.
Hear the reasons, told with ease, on
many species through the seasons.

Crafted words, on British birds
are often witty or absurd,
but never dry. Make haste to buy
the recommended 'Flying High'!

Okay, maybe not up to Anneliese's standards... but prose somehow didn't seem to do this wonderful little book justice. Pick up a copy and see for yourself.
Highly recommended.

Ben Darvill