The British Isles are remarkable for the extraordinary diversity of seabird life that they support: spectacular colonies of charismatic Arctic terns, elegant fulmars and stoic eiders, to name just a few. Often found in the most remote and dramatic reaches of our isles, these colonies are landscapes shaped not by us but by the birds. In this moving and lyrical account, Stephen Rutt travels to the farthest corners of the UK to explore the part seabirds have played in our story and what they continue to mean to Britain today. From storm petrels (a small bird whose song is frequently likened to a fairy being sick ) on Mousa to gulls in Newcastle and gannets in Orkney, The Seabirds takes readers into breathtaking landscapes, sights, smells and sounds, bringing these vibrant birds and their habitats to life. In the face of a looming environmental crisis, Stephen Rutt's investigation is both personal and passionate. This beautiful book reveals what it feels like to be immersed in a completely wild landscape, examining the allure of the remote and the search for quietness, isolation and nature in an over-crowded world.
ELLIOT & CLARK PUBLISHING
Country of Publication:
01 August 2019
Contents; Introduction: London and Orkney 1; 1 Storm Petrels - Shetland 17; 2 Skuas - Shetland 37; 3 Auks - Northumberland 59; 4 Eiders - Northumberland 83; 5 Terns - Northumberland 101; 6 Gulls - Newcastle 125; 7 Manx Shearwaters - Skomer 149; 8 Vagrants - Lundy, Fastnet, Sole and Fitzroy 177; 9 Gannets - Orkney 197; 10 Fulmars - Orkney 221; Epilogue 251; Acknowledgements 255; Bibliography 259; Notes 267; Index 275
Stephen Rutt is a birder, naturalist, freelance feature writer and book reviewer whose work has appeared in EarthLines Magazine, Zoomorphic, The Harrier, Surfbirds, BirdGuides and the East Anglian Daily Times. In 2016 he escaped his hectic, anxiety-inducing life in London to spend seven months at the bird observatory on North Ronaldsay, the most northerly island in the Orkney archipelago, where this book was born. He currently lives in Dumfries.
Reviews for The Seafarers: A Journey Among Birds
`A beautifully illuminating portrait of lives lived largely on the wing and at sea . . . In this intimate guide to the wild beauty and complexity of seabirds, Stephen Rutt has written a powerful chronicle of resilience and fragility' -- Julian Hoffman, author of Irreplaceable and The Small Heart of Things; An arrestingly vivid turn of phrase... An accomplished debut from an exciting new voice in Nature writing. -- The Countryman Magazine ; 5*... One of those great joys of a book ... I look forward to reading the next book from this author, although I acknowledge that he has set his own bar very high - Tonto Williams Electronic Scrapbook; Writes as beautifully about Shetland as he does about seabirds - Sally Huband, raingeeseandselkies.blogspot.com
- Short-listed for Saltire First Book of the Year 2019 2019
- Short-listed for The Highland Book Prize 2019
- Winner of Saltire First Book of the Year 2019 2019