Sunday book review – Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? by Lev Parikian

I’m not keen on the cover of this book and I’m not that keen on its title, but I really enjoyed the  story.

A middle-aged lapsed birdwatcher takes up the hobby again and tries hard to see 200 species in a calendar year while also being a freelance conductor (of music).  Does he succeed?  I bet you can guess. Does he meet with triumph and disaster along the way? I bet you can guess.

I met Lev at the Bird Fair and had a short chat with him. He seemed quite interesting and so I thought I ought to knuckle down and read his book. But the cover and title kept putting me off. But when I did pick it up properly I raced through it and occasionally laughed out loud.  The journey with Lev is an entertaining and enjoyable one.  He goes to some places that I know quite well, and even meets some people I know too, but really it’s the tale of someone recapturing the enjoyment of everyday birding. And the author is quite witty and has interesting things to say about the non-birding aspects of his life.

So, don’t be put off by the cover (you may love it anyway), nor by the title (it does have a witty relevance to the story after all) and don’t even be put off by the fact that Jeremy Clarkson tweeted that he was enjoying reading this book.

Why do Birds Suddenly Disappear: 200 birds. 12 months. 1 lapsed birdwatcher by Lev Parikian is published by Unbound.

Remarkable Birds by Mark Avery is published by Thames and Hudson – for reviews see here.

Inglorious: conflict in the uplands by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.