When looking through some of my late father’s things a few years back I came across a 1938 edition of ‘The Observer’s Book of British Birds’. Inside the front cover is a small golden sticker reading ‘ D&T Gaudin, Booksellers & Stationers, 24 Smith St, Guernsey’. I’d forgotten about this book and only rediscovered it recently. I often wonder how many hands this small book has passed through in its journey of 76 years and 500+ miles. I thought I would share a few entries from this delightful book.
On the introduction page part of it reads, ‘Describing Two Hundred and Twenty-Six Species with 200 illustrations, 100 of which are in full colour’.
It is also interesting to read of some unfamiliar names given to the birds which I personally haven’t heard before such as
Meadow-Pipit or Titlark
In the pages describing the Tit’s they are referred to as ‘Titmice’, for example,
Great Titmouse, Coal Titmouse, Marsh Titmouse, Blue Titmouse and Long-tailed Titmouse.
In the case of the Bearded Tit it is referred to as the 'Bearded Titmouse or Reedling'.
The Dipper is listed as ‘Dipper or Water-Ousel’ with a given length of ‘nearly 7 in’ .
As a final snippet from this book, the habitats are described only as ‘Haunt’.
In the entry for the Swift it reads, ‘Haunt. The Sky, anywhere, even over London’.
I think I’m going to enjoy reading this gem of a book.