THE BIRDS OF HOLY ISLAND AND LINDISFARNE NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE, by Ian Kerr. Published by Nature Guides ( £14.99. Hardback.

OUR own ‘bird man’ on The Northumbrian provides a comprehensive account of the birds to be found on Holy Island in every season. Ian Kerr’s long-established guide has been completely revised and redesigned for this new hardback edition.
The informative text has been extended, many new photographs have been added and the classified list covering well over 300 species has been fully updated. This is an engaging and knowledgeable account which offers a lasting memory of one of Northumberland’s great natural treasures.
Ian and his wife Hazel have been regular visitors to the island since the 1960s and, since buying a cottage in the village 25 years ago, Ian has amassed a wealth of local bird stories and legends. One involves the mass autumn arrival of goldcrests.
“This bird has a special affection in the hearts of older islanders,” he relates. “They can recall the days when their parents and grandparents would encourage these tiny birds to enter their cottages to feast on the large number of flies and spiders seeking refuge from the autumn weather.
“The fearless crests would spend a day or two in the cottages, clearing them of insects for the winter and also benefiting from the shelter from the elements. Then the doors and windows would be opened and they would be ushered on their way, well fed and rested.”