A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa is not a bird book, although you can learn a lot about marabous and hadadas via the story and the drawings that herald each chapter. But there is a bird counting contest (see here and here for others), although its point is to gain a lady’s affection rather than bird-bragging rights. We cheer for Mr. Malik, the modest, honest, kind hero, as Mr. Khan, his showy rival, hires planes, helicopters, and Australian birdwatchers to get to win.

A  sweet book, of which the African setting and subtle pace recall The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. The author even affects a panama hat in the cover picture just like Alexander McCall Smith . A little too deja vu perhaps?


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