Call of the Kingfisher is an enchanting book by a composer and wildlife recordist, who celebrates all the wild things that live on a short stretch of Northamptonshire’s River Nene, especially beautiful blue and orange kingfishers (with bonus birdsong recordings: never play birdsong near other birds, it can confuse re times, predators).
For 40 years, the author has walked beside the River Nene at Oundle (a lovely but little-known part of England where bandleader Glenn Miller performed his final concert, before going missing). For a whole year, Nick gave the waterway all his time, so the more he saw the resident kingfishers and heard their high whistling calls. Also exploring the history and landscape (from Roman and Bronze Age sites to watermills and centuries-old stone churches), he also watches forest dawns and dusks, listening the precious songs of nightingales. Alongside the background tapestry of greens and browns, sights and sounds – all shot through with blue and orange threads of a kingfisher’s glowing feathers.
Nick Penny grew up in around the world, then took an arts degree at Oxford University, before setting up a workshop to make musical instruments and play the Paraguayan harp. After moving to rural Northamptonshire, he became fascinated by birdsong in his local words, and uses the sounds in his own music. An inspiring speaker on wildlife and birdsong, he delights on passing his nature knowledge to others.