Naturalist and author Stephen Moss compared his hunt for all 61 species of British Butterflies, the conclusion of which after 60 years he writes about in this piece in The Guardian newspaper, with Patrick Barkham's quest having taken only a year, which he describes in this 'delightful book'.
This sounds like a companion to Leif Bersweden's account of his hunt for all of our 52 orchids - below.
'Suzanne Simard shares the secrets of a lifetime spent uncovering startling truths about trees: their cooperation, healing capacity, memory, wisdom and sentience... Though her ground-breaking findings were initially dismissed and even ridiculed, they are now firmly supported by the data... As her remarkable journey shows us, science is not a realm apart from ordinary life, but deeply connected with our humanity.'
Sounds a bit obvious, since without humanity there would be no science, but along with Entangled Life and The Heartbeat of Trees (see below), it's plainly time to connect with these discoveries.
Swifts and us: The Life of the Bird that sleeps in the Sky, by Sarah Gibson A timely publication, given our Swifts Project and impending survey of nest sites and the population in Tisbury. 'Swifts live almost entirely in the air. They eat, drink, sleep, mate and gather their nesting materials on the wing, fly thousands of miles across the world, navigating their way around storms, never lighting on tree, cliff or ground, until they return home with the summer.
'Thankfully, there are people in the UK and across Europe striving to ensure a future for swifts. Their actions and stories are woven into the narrative, demonstrating how change is brought about by passionate, determined individuals, whose actions show that everyone can do something to keep these superb birds screaming through our skies.'
That includes us!
The Heartbeat of Trees: Embracing our Ancient Bond with Forests and Nature by Peter Wohlleben An edited extract in The Guardian newspaper quoted the author, 'Trees have the ability to taste and feel - they communicate with each other, store memories and respond to attacks. They can have a profoundly positive effect on our emotions ... but can we know how they feel about us?'
Butterflies, A Natural History, by Martin Warren Recommended by Partick Barkham in The Guardian newspaper's Butterfly Watch. 'This new addition to the British Wildlife Collection is a unique take on butterfly behaviour and ecology, written by the former Chief Executive of Butterfly Conservation, Martin Warren. It explores the secret lives of our British species (also drawing on comparative examples from continental Europe), revealing how they have become adapted to survive in such a highly competitive natural world.'
Save our Species, by Dominic Couzens. Recommended by our swift project guru, Ed Mayer of Swift-conservation.org, who says, ' This has a nice section on Swifts in it, but beyond that it is a jolly good and useful book. How many people make a plea for Earthworms to be (spiritually) nurtured close to our hearts? Dominic Couzens does! A great Post-Covid-Let's-all-Rush-Out-and-Have-Some-Fun read!'
Barn Owls - Evolution and Ecology, by Alexander Roulin. Everything you didn't know you didn't know about this bird and its relatives - based on studies from 1853-2018. Has the most lovely hand-drawn illustrations. Available from https://www.nhbs/com/barn-owls-evolution-and-ecology-book.
Birch, by Anna Lewington, our speaker on 21 December 2020. Published by Reaktion Books in 2018, £16. This is one of a series covering a long list of tree and plant species: Apple, Bamboo, Cactus, Cannabis (!), Carnation, Carnivorous Plants, etc., etc., all the way to Yew. See http://www.reaktionbooks.co.uk/display.asp?ISB=9781789140118
Bird Sense: What it’s Like to be a Bird (2012), by Tim Birkhead - a popular science book that discusses life as a bird and was shortlisted for the Royal Society’s Winton Prize for Science Books in 2013.
The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg, by Tim Birkhead is available from Newcastle university bookseller Blackwell's.
Birdwatcher's Yearbook The new edition of is out soon and is recommended to us as the perfect way to find everybody in the bird world and to learn a lot besides. But as a source for contacts it is unparalleled. You can order it at: https://www.callunabooks.co.uk/recommended_reading.html
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape our Futures, by Merlin Sheldrake (Bodley Head, £20) 'A fascinating book about how fungi form our world.'
Diary of a Young Naturalist, by Dara McAnulty (Little Toller). Dara, who lives in Northern Ireland, is autistic, and this is a combination of nature book and 'warm portrait of a close-knit family'.
His Imperial Majesty: A Natural History of the Purple Emperor, by Matthew Oates (Bloomsbury, £20). Oates has been involved in the rewilding project at Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex.
The Orchid Hunter, by Leif Bersweden (who gave a talk to the Society in November 2018) - Short Books 2017, £12.99
The 'Field Guide' series
The Hive, by Bee Wilson - 'The story of the honeybee and Us'
Devil Birds, by Derek Bromhall - 'The life of the swift'
The Leaping Hare, by George Ewart Evans and David Thomson
Nature by Night by Vincent Albouy and Jean Chevallier - a guide to observation and identification
Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, by Richard Lewington.