BBC Radio 4’s Tweet of the Day series has been running for a number of years. They play the call or song of a different bird each day just before the Today programme starts at 6am … so on occasion the nonsensical honks of a goose are followed up by the nonsensical squawks of a politician.
I wasn’t actually aware there was a book until I was browsing through the beautiful screenprints of Carry Ackroyd at the recent Birdfair event at Rutland Water. Turns out a number of them were produced for the Tweet of the Day book. I couldn’t decide which one I liked best and couldn’t swing to buying 6 or 7 of them, so I thought I’d just order the book instead; cheap skate, I know!
Anyway, when I ordered the book on Amazon, it also said the audio version was available for free (if you signed up to audable.co.uk that is – you receive a 90-day free trial if you’re an Amazon Prime member), so I thought I’d have some of that, too cheap to buy a print and too lazy to read the book.
Whilst the audio book does have some of the bird songs, it doesn’t have them all. But this isn’t really an issue as it’s the interesting facts about individual birds and what you can expect see and hear in each month that makes the book great. For instance, I knew the gold crest was the UK’s smallest bird, but I didn’t know it weighed the same as an A4 sheet of paper and used to be known as the woodcock pilot as people didn’t believe it was capable of migrating from mainland Europe by itself and thought it hitched a lift on the back of a woodcock!
Now I didn’t buy the book with the intention of cutting it up, but it turns out the illustrations are A5 in size, so I picked 7 of my favourite, bought some frames, and they’re now hanging in my studio and bathroom. I feel cheap admitting it, but they do look great and they’re better being on display than hidden on a bookshelf.
So by buying the physical and audio formats, you can enjoy the artwork plus brighten up a dull car journey listening to interesting bird facts, win win.
BBC Tweet of the Day homepage (where you can listen to all the previous episodes)
Carry Akroyd – painter and printmaker
Amazon – Tweet of the Day book.