Friday, 20 September 2013

Looking for the Goshawk

Conor Jameson is a name that will be well known to the many RSPB members who read 'Birds' the society's membership magazine, for which he writes a very popular column in every issue. I enjoy his columns so when I saw that he had penned a book on Goshawks I just had to delve in. The Goshawk is a species that I have a very patchy relationship with. It's certainly not a bird I see every day, every week or even every month. I'm lucky if I see a couple a year. When I do see one it's normally a very fleeting flyby and rarely in the UK as indeed, I see most of my birds in eastern Europe.

Reading Conor's book immediately struck a chord with me. I registered with his deep seated affection for this supreme predator and totally identified with his brilliantly told journey that leads the reader right up to and beyond the moment he saw his first bird. In fact, I didn't care that he took a long time to see one as I was loving the ride. Incidently, I was delighted that the magical moment occurred in an urban area - not wishing to spoil it for those who didn't want to know that!

Whilst reading Conor's book two thoughts sprung to mind; the fact that the book was written so well and also that his research into the Goshawk left absolutely no stone unturned. I learnt so much about this majestic bird and not only just about its private life but a multitude of stuff like how they have been perceived throughout history and even how they were trained for falconery.

'Looking for the Goshawk' is partly a personal quest, partly monographic, partly scientific and totally enjoyable. Looking for the Goshawk will certainly be looking for a place on your Christmas list!

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