The artist Humphrey Ocean RA has painted portraits of Sir Paul McCartney and Philip Larkin, among many others. But alongside these prestigious commissions, he has always returned to drawing the simpler things in life: our 'alluringly unnatural world', as he puts it. The result is this idiosyncratic and charming collection of birds, all rendered in with humour and a bold brush. With a species to discover on every page, this book is the perfect gift for any keen ornithologist, aspiring twitcher or dedicated listener to Tweet of the Day.
As well as birdwatching around his home and studio in South London, Ocean regularly visits his sister, who is a nun in Nairobi and has loved birds all her life. There, he paints Kenyan birds such as the Eurasian bee-eater, the bulbul and the flycatcher that are 'local, a bit like our garden birds so nothing overly exotic, but of course to me they are'. They join the familiar gulls, thrushes and tits of the gardens, parks and hedgerows of the UK in this beautifully produced collection.