H Is For Hawk… And Heffers

final H is for hawk coverLast Thursday I went to Heffers bookshop in Cambridge for a book signing of my book, A Sparrowhawk’s Lament. Sharing this event with me was Helen Macdonald who has written a cracking good best seller, H is for Hawk. About a hundred people had braved the arctic blast to attend.

Helen led off with readings from her book which records her struggle and eventual success in training a Goshawk which was her way of dealing with the anguish of her father’s death. Helen then handed over to me. I explained how I had found the title for my book and then talked about the Marsh Harrier which is just one of the fifteen British breeding birds of prey I dealt with in my personal appraisal of their status.

I then showed a film of a female Marsh Harrier that first bred at our Hawk and Owl Trust reserve in Norfolk in 2004. She’s now familiarly known as Mrs H and since 2004 has raised 49 young. Will she return safely to breed again this year?

Also with me was Bruce Pearson who had done all the sketches for my book. He’s a great friend and we’ve worked together on two films I’ve made. Bruce discussed the problems of producing sketches for the book. Then it was over to the audience and a question and answer session.

I got very over-excited talking about the plight of the Hen Harrier and then it was down to book signings. It was a very pleasant experience and we’re all greatly indebted to David Robinson from Heffers for organizing it so impeccably.