Received a copy of “The Biggest Twitch” book to review today. The authors are Alan Davies and Ruth Miller, who travelled the globe with the aim of breaking the world record for seeing the most bird species in a single year.
I’m looking forward to reading it. At first glance the signs are good. The cover image of toucans against an exotic landscape is by Robert Gillmor; it’s bright and colourful and encourages me to pick it up. Birds, travel, a world record attempt… yes, I definitely want to read this.
I have to admit though, I’m not a twitcher. I love watching birds and, though I used to keep a yearly list, I’ve never really bought in to the concept of rushing about trying to find rarities. It’s not that I don’t enjoy seeing them, I’d just rather come across something unexpectedly during a day’s birding. Travelling in search of one particular bird – that probably left the area before I got there – just doesn’t quite appeal… and no, it’s not sour grapes because I missed it!
So I’m slightly concerned that this book might be a list of one species after another; thousands of them. A book designed for the most dedicated twitchers amongst us. Then again, I’ve corresponded with Alan and Ruth via Twitter and they seem refreshingly normal. Well as normal as you can be if you spend your life searching for birds.
So far I’ve only read the introduction, which explains how the project arose. It’s engagingly written and I’m keen to get on with the main text. So far, so good: I’ll let you know how I get on.