Simon Barnes

The joy of bird-listening

The focus is often too much on sight

Here’s a rum thing: you can tell the quality of a piece of land with your eyes closed. Your ears alone will tell you if it’s any good or not. And this, as it happens, was good land.

I was attempting to explain this concept to a group of disparate individuals, among them land-owners, gamekeepers, shoot-owners, farm workers, solicitors, an official from the National Farming Union, an RSPB warden, someone from Norfolk Wildlife Trust, a local councillor and a person who sells agricultural equipment.

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