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Flight Lines

Andrew Darby



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Allen & Unwin
01 February 2020
Winner of the Royal Zoological Society of NSW Whitely Award for the Best Natural History Book 2020 As the sun lowered and turned Gulf St Vincent fiery, they each called a high-pitched 'peeooowiii!', flashed their black wing-pits, spread their tail skirts and took flight.

Andrew Darby follows the odysseys of two Grey Plovers, little-known migratory shorebirds, as they take previously uncharted ultramarathon flights from the southern coast of Australia to Arctic breeding grounds. On these extraordinary flights they chance predators, typhoon weather and exhaustion before they can breed, and maybe return to familiar southern feeding grounds. But the greatest threat to these, and other long-distance migrants on the flyway, is China's dragon economy, engulfing their vital Yellow Sea staging spots.

The author meets the dedicated people working to save these intrepid birds, from Russia to Alaska, and the rim of the Arctic Sea to the coasts of the Southern Ocean. Out of their hard-won science he finds hope for the birds - a bright light for our times.

But his journey to understand this work and these birds almost ends when he is suddenly diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Then he finds science coming to his rescue too.

'An epic journey soaring on the wings of feather-scraps. Exquisitely told.' - Wendy Harmer, writer and broadcaster 'The greatest story ever recorded in the study of migration' - Tim Flannery, The Australian 'A tender account of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of Australia's shorebirds in their extraordinary pursuit of eternal spring, and the scientists who fight to preserve their flyways.' - Penny Olsen, author of Night Parrot 'A magnificent and personal account of the world we share with migratory shorebirds' - Heather Rose, author of the award-winning novel, Museum of Modern Love and Bruny
By:   Andrew Darby
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 230mm,  Width: 150mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   460g
ISBN:   9781760296551
ISBN 10:   1760296554
Pages:   344
Publication Date:   01 February 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
1 Hunting on a no-good shore 2 Three letters will do 3 Tiny sparks 4 The undertone 5 The treasure map 6 The treasure house 7 Perfectly suited 8 The white bear bird 9 Beringia 10 A portion of their secrets 11 Now south 12 A flick of the dragon's tail 13 Lost flocks 14 A spoonful of hope 15 Navigating the possible 16 In harmony with the sun Author's note Notes Index

Andrew Darby is the former Hobart correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and author of Harpoon.

Reviews for Flight Lines

The greatest story ever recorded in the study of migration -- Tim Flanery * The Australian *

  • Winner of Best Natural History Book 2020 (Australia)

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