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Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781848543829

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 4th March 2010

Genre: Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure / Natural History

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If we could see it as a whole, if they all arrived in a single flock, say, we would be truly amazed: sixteen million birds. Swallows, martins, swifts, warblers, wagtails, wheatears, cuckoos, chats, nightingales, nightjars, thrushes, pipits and flycatchers pouring into Britain from sub-Saharan Africa.

It is one of the enduring wonders of the natural world. Each bird faces the most daunting of journeys -navigating epic distances, dependent on bodily fuel reserves. Yet none can refuse. Since pterodactyls flew, twice-yearly odysseys have been the lot of migrant birds.

For us, for millennia, the Great Arrival has been celebrated. From The Song of Solomon, through Keats’ Ode To a Nightingale, to our thrill at hearing the first cuckoo call each year, the spring-bringers are timeless heralds of shared seasonal joy. Yet, migrant birds are finding it increasingly hard to make the perilous journeys across the African desert. Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo is a moving call to arms by an impassioned expert: get outside, teach your children about these birds, don’t let them disappear from our shores and hearts.


A beautiful and important book
Simon Barnes, author of HOW TO BE A BAD BIRDWATCHER
'We owe a debt to a writer like McCarthy, who paints so well the portrait of natural riches we think our birthright ... McCarthy paints a portrait of a magical bird universe'
Daily Mail
'This is a joyful book'
Daily Express
'Michael McCarthy is one of the best environmental journalists there is'
Sunday Telegraph
'This is a valuable guide to what we'll soon miss'
Geographical Magazine
'This is the most important book I have read for a long time ... it boils with enthusiasm ... many will greatly enjoy the rich and informative prose ... to not read this book is a crime against conservation and the cost is almost beyond comprehension'
BBC Countryfile Magazine
A stark picture of the fate of migratory birds
BBC Country File Magazine
'This book could easily have been a grim litany of despair ... instead Michael McCarthy has taken the opportunity to celebrate our summer migrants ... this book reminds us of what we stand to lose and why we cannot afford to take the cuckoo for granted'
BBC Wildlife
'An impassioned hymn to the wonder of the annual display of migrating birds and a robust warning'
'A rich ornithological tapestry ... buy this book, enjoy it'
Ian Wallace, British Birds
'One of my heroes - writer Mike McCarthy - paints an all too harrowing picture of a landscape robbed of this iconic sound in his new tour de force Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo'
Sunday Express
'McCarthy spent the spring of 2008 following the "spring-bringers" . . . and celebrates them so eloquently here you will never see or hear them in the same way again . . . cherish them now'
Evening Standard
'A timely report from the edge of the natural world that is being eroded by ignorance and carelessness'
The Times
'An interesting book . . . Quirky observations, laced with historical and literary references, enliven the text'
Irish Examiner
'The titles sounds like an elegy, but the tone, until near the end, is upbeat and celebratory . . . he tells the story . . . with a light touch and wide open eyes'
'An environmental warning'
Terry Sutton, Dover Express & Folkestone Herald
'McCarthy builds up the magic ... rightly McCarthy is out to warn'
The Tablet
'This timely book by Michael McCarthy, one of the country's leading writers on the environment, is a celebration of these migratory birds and a call to arms to help preserve them'
National Trust Magazine
As well as raising the alarm, Michael McCarthy writes lyrically in praise of the songsters
Choice Magazine
'Lovely but heart-tugging book ... McCarthy's theme is twofold: to give us a vivid picture of what we have learned scientifically about birds themselves, but then beautifully to interweave it with the "human response'"
'We have been warned'
Northern Echo
'Wake-up call to all those concerned with the UK's environment, calling for action before it's too late'
Your Birding Monthly
'The book does not just raise the alarm about the astonishing declines. It clebrates the migrant birds as a group, stressing the enormous cultural resonance they have across Europe'
Best of British
'Courageously, McCarthy's book is a celebration as much as a warning'
'You must have and read this book'
Highland News & North Star