The popular view of birdwatchers (or 'twitchers') is of people who rush madly from one end of the country to another to tick birds off their lists. But behind the headlines are an army of enthusiasts who do quite the reverse--they stay devotedly within a small local area, their Patch, and enthuse and obsess about the birds within it. They are every bit as committed and eccentric as their far-travelling counterparts.
A Patch Made in Heaven is the diary of a wildlife-watching year in a single square kilometre of southern England. Written in wryly humorous style, it details the birds, the animals and the human visitors that turn up and use this tiny parcel of land. It chronicles the delights, disappointments and frustrations that go with dedicated 'patch-watching', and also uncovers all sorts of unusual and unexpected details about what we might think are familiar British creatures.
Although the book is set on one particular Patch, the real location is not revealed because most of its wildlife, and most of its events, can be witnessed anywhere by anyone, making A Patch Made in Heaven a great celebration of the British countryside and its wildlife.
Dominic Couzens is one of Britain's best known writers on birds and wildlife. He has produced numerous books, including The Secret Lives of Garden Birds, Extreme Birds, The Secret Lives of Garden Wildlife and the travel memoir My Family and 50 Other Animals. He regularly writes for BBC Countryfile and BBC Wildlife magazines as well as the Daily Telegraph. He is a regular contributor to BBC television, both on and off screen, appearing on Autumnwatch and The One Show as well as being a consultant on programmes such as The Animals Guide to Britain, with Chris Packham. He lives in Dorset with his wife, two children and over 300 species of moth.
"[...] So, if you’re struggling for motivation to get outdoors – if the weather is grim, you think you’ ve seen it all before, or if you’re suffering from post-holiday blues, read A Patch Made in Heaven; it might just be the inspiration you need."
- R.C., Ibis 156, 2014