Book Review by Nick Brown, Wildlife Officer - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Derby Cathedral peregrine, Nick Moyes

How to be an Urban Birder by David Lindo (Princeton, paperback, 2018). £14.99.

So many of us live in towns and cities that a book about the birds you can expect or hope to see in ‘the concrete jungle’ is long overdue.

The author has a long track record of trying to get people living in built up areas to ‘look up’ and become aware of the birds that live and especially migrate over our cities.

He even had permission to stand on the top of one of the tallest buildings in central London to look for visual migration, especially birds of prey. Surprisingly, as well as seeing the resident peregrines (there are now 25 pairs nesting in the capital) he observed birds such as ospreys and kites passing over.

The book is packed with useful information, photos and also many line drawings by Steph Thorpe, who lives in this county.

Lindo describes the variety of habitats to be found and the wildlife that inhabits them. Derelict sites bombed by the Germans in WW2 became home to black redstarts and old-style open sewage farms became a mecca for birders hoping to see rarer birds blown off course.

However the most extraordinary urban bird must surely be the peregrine falcon and of course we now have a few ‘townie’ peregrines nesting in our county, those at Derby Cathedral being the most famous.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is wanting to learn more about the wildlife immediately around them, even if you live in a suburb or a small village, this book will enrich you contact with nature and teach you how to find and see creatures you never even thought might be close by.

Book review

Book review