Posted by: atowhee | February 3, 2019


Click here to enjoy some of the finalists in the Bird Photo of the Year contest.  Especially note the fine photo of a Common Kingfisher beaking into the water.  This blowing little blue demon is found over much of Europe and beyond.  Less than Half the size of our Belted Kingfisher but a giant compared to Malachite and other miniature kingfishers in the tropics.

One of the most entertaining bird books I’ve read lately is As Kingfishers Catch Fire.  Put together by a British writer and British artists the book traces some European species through literature.  Some are species we know well: collared-dove, raven, peregrine, starling.  Others are close cousins to American species like crow and kingfisher.  Then there are some European species we can envy: Nightingale,  Skylark, European Goldfinch.
Naturally most of the authors quoted herein are from the British isles: Heaney, Dylan and Edward Thomas, Hardy, Chaucer, Shelley, Wordsworth, Yeats, D.H. Lawrence.  But there are plenty of Yanks as well: T. S. Eliot, Mary Oliver, Raymond Carver, Wallace Stevens.  When its raining at night and you can’t see birds, this  book is a fine companion.  It, too, may sing to you.


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