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The author grew up in the Berkshire countryside and birds were very much part of his family's interest. He describes how when still at an early age, he learnt to identify and note the habits of all the many species about him. Also, he was taken by his mother to see rarities, such as the butcher bird, which in the nineteen thirties, nested on Bucklebury Common. However, even the common species such as sparrows and starlings, always fascinated him and that fascination has remained with him as a lifetime interest. The result has been that wherever he has been in the world and whatever his occupation might have been at the time, he was able to observe the birds around him, to watch them and to take note of their ways.
Apart from stories about birdwatching and the habits of birds in many parts of Britain, Mike Holmes describes his experiences in Texas, India and Africa, also whilst at sea in the Merchant Navy and during his years as an airline pilot.