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Lost Among the Birds Audiobook

Lost Among the Birds: Accidentally Finding Myself in One Very Big Year

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Publisher's Summary

Early in 2013 Neil Hayward was at a crossroads. He didn't want to open a bakery or whatever else executives do when they quit a lucrative but unfulfilling job. He didn't want to think about his failed relationship with 'the one' or his potential for ruining a new relationship with 'the next one'. And he almost certainly didn't want to think about turning 40. And so instead he went birding.

Birding was a lifelong passion. It was only among the birds that Neil found a calm that had eluded him in the confusing world of humans. But this time he also found competition. His growing list of species reluctantly catapulted him into a Big Year - a race to find the most birds in one year. His peregrinations across 28 states and six provinces in search of exotic species took him to a hoarfrost-covered forest in Massachusetts to find a fieldfare; to Lake Havasu, Arizona, to see a rare Nutting's flycatcher; and to Vancouver for the red-flanked bluetail.

Neil's Big Year was as unplanned as it was accidental: It was the perfect distraction from life. Neil shocked the birding world by finding 749 species of bird and breaking the long-standing Big Year record. He also surprised himself: during his time among the hummingbirds, tanagers, and boobies, he found a renewed sense of confidence and hope about the world and his place in it.

©2016 Neil Hayward (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Narrator Sam Devereaux flawlessly portrays transplanted Brit Neil Hayward, who gives up his lucrative biotechnology career to bird-watch and heal after a painful breakup. Devereaux's Hayward generously shares the thrill of bird-watching as he quietly hides in cold, wet bushes, awaiting the arrival of these most elusive creatures. With a count of 749 birds, Hayward breaks the American Birding Association's Big Year record. The most fun comes from Hayward's accent and wit, both delivered authentically by Devereaux. When Hayward travels with an array of American bird-watchers, Devereaux continues to present an impressive range of accents. Even non- bird-watchers will enjoy Hayward's musings on nature and life - both human and avian. Listeners will experience Hayward's joy as he regains his confidence and realizes that Gerri, his new girlfriend, is perfect for him." (AudioFile magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (11 )
5 star
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3.6 (9 )
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Story
3.1 (9 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Steph H United Kingdon 19/03/2017
    Steph H United Kingdon 19/03/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    72
    70
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rather annoying"

    Didn't really enjoy this book, but it was useful as a rather monotonous voice to listen to to drop off to sleep to.

    I actively listened to the last chapter and the epilogue and was annoyed yet again by the self indulgence.

    The bit in the last chapter about the 'evolution' of birds is just ridiculous and really rather pompous.

    The only redeeming factor is as mentioned earlier it's perfectly boring to fall asleep to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Anita
    PORTLAND, OR, United States
    29/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Birding is the original "Pokemon-go!""

    I've known a couple of birders - and they're really not that peculiar. I've seen the movie "A BIg Year." I've even been mildly intrigued by the thought of birding - thought never knowing how one actually began. Then, I listened to this book. Part birding book, part self-help/acknowledgement book - it caused me to buy the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds - Western Edition as well as downloading their iPhone app!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • sherri
    Kirkland, WA, United States
    18/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best vicarious Big Year"

    A backyard birder, I know that the closest I'll ever come to a Big Year is through a book like this. Hayward writes with a typical British self-depreciation: he must have done very, very well in his work (one of the smartest guys in the room) to have financed the travels demanded by such competitive birding. There's some forgivable repetition of form with the way he tries to interweave his ongoing life and love story with each birding adventure, but his obvious enthusiasm for the birds themselves and not just the chance to tick off a list carries the book. His descriptions of fellow birders show that this sport attracts people of all backgrounds, education, and income levels; and they travel to some hilariously uncomfortable places. Ultimately, the message is to go outside, look around, and be very happy that there are birds.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    13/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A relaxing journey with a birder"

    A relaxing read that I listened to all the way through as I drove a great distance , scanning the sky for wings in flight. Yes, nature truly does heal. Narrarator read the story with preccision and ease as if he was actually there every step of the way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Janus Hansen
    Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
    08/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolute pleasure"
    If you could sum up Lost Among the Birds in three words, what would they be?

    In this book we get to follow Neil Haywards birding Big Year. Being a birder, this the birding storyline is interesting and exciting, with good descriptions of birds and birding. The author avoids reducing the species to mere ticks on a list, but in a straight forward but engaging manner he manages to convey his love for birds.
    Parallel to the birding story we get a vivid insight into the development of his personal crisis which centers around Gerri, his girlfriend.
    What makes this audiobook so pleasurable is how beatifully these two stories are interwoven.
    Sam Deveraux's performance is perfect.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • lkboice
    Salt Lake City, UT
    13/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written"

    What a terrific book! I was so sad when it ended. Not how it ended but that it ended. Neil Hayward has a wonderful gift of language and he delicately weaves his personal journey into the story of his Big Year. My husband wants to listen to this book now, but I'm afraid he might end up doing a Big Year as a result!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sam - Audible
    New Jersey, USA
    31/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A sincere and delightful memoir"

    With summer winding down, I’ve been obsessed with trying to spot as many seasonal birds as possible before fall migration begins—so I thought Neil Hayward’s memoir of his "accidental big year" would be the perfect companion to keep me satisfied when I couldn’t be out there staring at the trees. A “big year,” for the uninitiated, is when a birder challenges themself to see as many bird species in one calendar year as possible. As the title explains, Neil reluctantly stumbled into his own after a midlife crisis in which he quit a joyless job, lost a long-time relationship, and found himself struggling with depression. I won't lie: this memoir is probably most enjoyable if you have at least a passing interest in birds, but it really is about so much more than that particular hobby; it’s about discovering the purpose and meaning in your life—in things (and birds) both big and small. Neil doesn’t narrate, but his proxy Sam Devereaux does an excellent job conveying the author’s delightfully wry British humor and infectious enthusiasm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. Telfair
    Shepherdstown, WV, United States
    27/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Know a Birder? This will help you Understand."

    I'm certain that anyone who is a birder will love this book. Those of us who like birds (sure, who doesn't?) and are glad they're around but don't so much understand the compulsion to chase them down and log every spot and stripe might not be so sure.

    The good news is that, for birder or non, this book is fascinating. Neil Hayward is a very good writer. He makes you see, hear, and really want those birds right along with him! He's wonderful at describing all the out-of-the-way places a big birder visits and the conditions he/she must endure and all the odd characters (feathered and not feathered) met along the way.

    And it's not just about the birds! Hayward's year was also about self analysis and self discovery. He's a nearly-40 year old man who is looking for a new direction in his career and facing the reality of his hesitation in forming and keeping relationships.

    With humor and passion, Neil Hayward sweeps us along on his year-long journey. Lessons about birds, sure, but also about humanity, life, and love are here.

    All this, plus darn good narration by Sam Devereaux - this book about birds flies high!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Virginia Henson
    Norman, OK United States
    21/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Interesting and Entertaining"

    I don't know come here from sic 'me about birds, and even after I finished this I don't get why the author would have put himself through what he did to see them, but I have to admit the book was very entertaining. The narrator was spot on. I loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • E.C.
    SHELBURNE, VT, United States
    29/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Attention, birders!"

    How does birding effect you? Does the world think you're nuts because you a drawn to field guides, bins and feathers? THIS book is for YOU! LOVED IT!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    21/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "extremely good!"

    I enjoyed this book so much, and hated to put it down. This is a story I will enjoy again and again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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