As Mark has been very busy covering a number of recent developments in British wildlife conservation this past week, the Sunday book review he normally publishes is this week more of a Tuesday book review. However he more than makes amends for being a couple days late by focusing this new column on the recent publication of the British Trust for Ornithology’s State of the UK’s Birds 2017 and a particularly handy volume published a decade ago with which to compare the finding of the BTO’s new report: A Climatic Atlas of European Breeding Birds.
Sitting comfortably with a friend in two ancient chairs by the window at The Fox & Hounds in the Berkshire village of Theale, waiting for the rain to stop in order that we might continue with our plans of having a look at the waterfowl on Hosehill Lake, my friend casually declared “That’s the second time they’ve been up there.”
“Delightful!” That was the very first word I uttered upon closing the back cover of Patrick Barkham’s The Butterfly Isles; A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals.
In his famous work Parerga und Paralipomena, the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer put forth the dilemma faced by a group of hedgehogs who need to huddle together in order to share one another’s body heat and thus better survive the cold.