This beautifully observed book that reminds us of the magic and importance of connecting with nature, Call of the Kingfisher is an enchanting love letter to a short stretch of river and all the wild things that live there, especially the kingfishers.
A composer and wildlife recordist, Nick Penny has walked the footpath by the River Nene near his home at Oundle in Northamptonshire for four decades. But a chance encounter with a kingfisher on New Year’s Day inspires him to observe the waterway and woods nearby more closely. The more he looks and listens, the more he sees and hears afresh.
In Call of the Kingfisher, he relates a year by the river interweaving his own deepening connection with the
wildlife on his doorstep with explorations of local history and landscape. From the precious song of nightingales to recording the dawn chorus among the bluebells, Nick introduces the concept of soundscapes and sound walks reflecting on the importance of birdsong when so much of modern life is affected by noise pollution. He visits Roman and Bronze Age sites, watermills and centuries-old stone churches, and rediscovers the work of inspirational nature writers and conservationists over the centuries.
Written with a musician’s ear, this is an insightful, lyrical book about what can be seen and heard when we approach nature with patience and curiosity. It celebrates people who have used that focus to help preserve wildlife and pass on their knowledge to future generations. Above all, Call of the Kingfisher is an invitation to appreciate the beauty of nature, even in the most ordinary places, and to use our ears as much as our eyes when we experience the natural
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