Birdwatching healed my broken heart

  • Rosamond Richardson was left broken-hearted at the end of a seven-year relationship when she happened to meet birdwatcher James Parry
  • Waiting (usually in the cold and wet), observing, recording and learning from these marvellous, miraculous creatures was the process that healed her soul
  • The book is structured around Richardson’s travels and her discoveries during the months of the turning year 

Bel Mooney for the Daily Mail

Waiting for the Albino Dunnock: How Birds can Change your Life by Rosamond Richardson (Weidenfeld & Nicolson £16.99)

WAITING FOR THE ALBINO DUNNOCK: HOW BIRDS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

by Rosamond Richardson (Weidenfeld & Nicolson £16.99)

Some lucky folk have a deep love of nature rooted in childhood; others make their discoveries later in life — when perhaps the patient observation of birds, trees, wild flowers and wildlife becomes a sublime refuge from worldly excess.

Such is the stated motivation behind this glorious, beautifully written pilgrimage into the soaring world of birds.

Rosamond Richardson is touchingly honest. She was broken-hearted at the end of a seven-year relationship when she happened to meet the nature writer and dedicated birdwatcher James Parry. He became her mentor and she quickly became astounded by the wonder of birds.

Waiting (usually in the cold and wet), observing, recording and learning from these marvellous, miraculous creatures was the process that healed her soul.

Rosamond Richardson was left broken-hearted at the end of a seven-year relationship when she happened to meet birdwatcher James Parry Waiting (usually in the cold and wet), observing, recording and learning from these marvellous, miraculous creatures was the process that healed her soul

The book is structured around Richardson’s travels and her discoveries during the months of the turning year. Its style is passionate and poetic.

The pages are populated with other names too: writers such as John Clare, Gerard Manley Hopkins, R. S.Thomas and Henry David Thoreau.

These ‘virtual companions’ are with her all the time, reminding her that other lives have been changed by winged creatures.

This is an intensely spiritual book (written by a convert, after all), drawing on myth as well as faith — and this quality lifts it above much nature writing. The prose is sublime, and so is the intelligence behind it.

Richardson is in love with ‘the poetry of fact’ — those statistics about birds that make us gasp in wonder. Did you realise that the swallow (returning to the UK about now) covers 200 miles a day on a 12,000-mile round trip to South Africa — and has been known to make speeds of up to 34mph?

The multiple miracles of migration amaze her — and she presents them afresh. One example is the northern wheatear. It weighs less than an ounce and is smaller…

Read the full article from the Source…

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