This little book was knocked off in an hour and a half. Its really like reading an extended article, or newspaper column. Funny that, as the author is actually a columnist for our national Sunday paper. It was a treat to be reading the bird and place names that are so familiar to me.Less bird encyclopedia, and more an exploration of the authors new interest in birds, this book is quietly delightful. We hear snippets about the authors personal life, about life in New Zealand in general, and about that breed of bird aficionados: Birders. But what fascinated me was the subset of that group of Birders, the Twitchers.These folk "collect" sightings of bird species and compete against each other. In a Twitcher's quest to be the person with the highest number of sightings, they will travel long distances at short notice, have their sighting verified, then vamoose again sometimes showing little or no interest in the other birds that are about. It all seems very odd to me. But then again, my interest in birds is limited to simply loving the sound of the NZ native bush birds.Braunias gives us a slice of the lives of others, and confesses to being a bird addict himself now too. But I cant help but feel like a publisher called him up and said: "we need a book about birds, can you five us 30,000 words by the end of next month?".
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