Lev Parikian

Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? 200 birds, 12 months, 1 lapsed birdwatcher
  • Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? 200 birds, 12 months, 1 lapsed birdwatcher

  • At twelve years old, Lev Parikian was an avid birdwatcher. He was also a fraud, a liar and a cheat. Those lists of birds seen and ticked off? Lies. One hundred and thirty species? More like sixty.
    Then, when he turned fifty, he decided to right his childhood wrongs. He would go birdwatching again. He would not lie. He would aim to see two hundred species of British bird in a year.

    Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? is the story of that year, a story about birds, family, music, nostalgia, the nature of obsession and obsession with nature. It’s about finding adventure in life when you twig it’s shorter than you thought, and about losing and regaining contact with the sights, sounds and smells of the natural world.

    It’s a book for anyone who has ever seen a small brown bird and wondered what it was, or tried to make sense of a world in which we can ask, ‘What’s that bird?’ and ‘What’s for lunch?’ and get the same answer.

Lev Parikian is a writer, conductor and hopeless birdwatcher. His first book, Waving, Not Drowning, was published in 2013. His numerous conducting credits include the re-recording of the theme tune for Hancock’s Half Hour for Radio 4. As a birdwatcher, his most prized sightings are a golden oriole in the Alpujarras and a black redstart at Dungeness Power Station.