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By: Derwent May
237 pages, b/w illustrations
Derwent May is one of the country's leading experts on nature and the countryside and, for many years, his "Feather Reports" have appeared regularly in the pages of The Times. In those columns--collected in this evocative and charming volume--May captures the rich and changing world of British bird life throughout the calendar year. In the tradition of Gilbert White and W. H. Hudson, May writes with a freshness of observation and sensitivity that makes "Life On The Wing" simply captivating, especially when combined with the superlative nature drawings of illustrator Peter Brown. This is a book that is sure to be treasured by all nature lovers.
"Derwent May has been writing his Feather Reports in The Times for around 30 years, short, chatty and very personal accounts of his wanderings as a birdwatcher. Not surprisingly (for, among other things, he is both a poet and a literary critic), they are carefully crafted and well-written pieces. There is also something delightfully old-fashioned about them – reflecting the author, who, I think, will always be a birdwatcher rather than a birder.
This a collection of these weekly offerings, arranged by the months of the year. Their style will not be to everyone’s taste, but there is no mistaking Derwent May’s enthusiasm for his subject – nor the depth of his knowledge. His little stories are generally spot on, too: I know from personal experience how thoroughly he does his homework.
It is surely a good thing that collections like this are published. It is a shame, though, that not many copies are likely to be sold."
- Keith Betton, www.britishbirds.co.uk, 13-08-2012
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Derwent May has been the literary editor of "The Sunday Telegraph", "The Listener" and "The European". He is the author of "The Times Nature Diary", "The New Times Nature Diary" and "Feather Reports: A Chronicle of Bird Life from the pages of The Times"
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