Sunday book review – An eye for Birds by Bruce Kendrick

The author, as a 10-year-old spent six months in a sanatorium to recover from TB and started to develop his interest in birds, helped (as so many of us were) by the Observer Book of Birds. At school he found three mates who were interested in birds too and they explored the Wirral and its birding haunts and went further afield to places such as Bardsey Island.  This book recaptures those times, in the late 1950s and early 1960s with tales of pop music, football, girls and more.  And the author revisits those haunts and those times again 60 years later and examines his thoughts of then, now and the times in between.

I enjoyed the read, as someone who travelled a vaguely similar journey 10 years later  but who was alive and paying attention when the Beatles burst into prominence. I wonder whether a younger reader would be as interested as I was about those days – this book reminded me of things, but if you weren’t alive then, there is nothing much to remember.  However, we all spent some of our lives growing up, some more successfully than others, and so there is something in here for everyone. And those of us who were captured by birds and birdwatching at an early age will feel like companions of the author on his journey.

I liked this book and enjoyed reading it.  I’d be lying if I were to say that I am likely to read and reread it over time but as a read, it was a very pleasant companion for several days.

Thee are many colour photographs of birds and landscapes, all by the author, which do add to the book.

The cover? I’d give it 6/10.

An Eye for Birds by Bruce Kendrick is published by Whittles.

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