Despite the association of peregrines with the wild, outer reaches of the British Isles, The Peregrine is set on the flat marshes of the Essex coast, where J A Baker spent a long winter looking and writing about the visitors from the uplands – peregrines that spend the winter hunting the huge flocks of pigeons and waders that share the desolate landscape with them.
Including original diaries from which The Peregrine was written and its companion volume The Hill of Summer, this is a beautiful compendium of lyrical nature writing at its absolute best. Such luminaries as Richard Mabey, Robert Macfarlane, Ted Hughes and Andrew Motion have cited this as one of the most important books in 20th Century nature writing, and the bestselling author Mark Cocker has provided an introduction on the importance of Baker, his writings and the diaries – creating the essential volume of Baker's writings.
Papers, maps, and letters have recently come to light which in turn provide a little more background into J A Baker’s history. Contemporaries – particularly from his time at school in Chelmsford – have provided insights, remembering a school friend who clearly made an impact on his generation.
Among fragments of letters to Baker was one from a reader who praised a piece that Baker had written in RSPB Birds magazine in 1971. Apart from a paper on peregrines which Baker wrote for the Essex Bird Report, this article – entitled On the Essex Coast – appears to be his only other published piece of writing, and, with the agreement of the RSPB, it has been included in this updated new paperback edition of Baker’s astounding work.
Conservation provides a strong focus throughout, with maps illustrating where and why birds are most under threat, and what is being done to protect them. Separate sections examine key factors influencing their distribution and endangering their survival, from deforestation and climate change to invasive species and the cage-bird trade. Bird groups most affected, such as island endemics, are highlighted, while a fascinating chapter explores the complex historical relationship between birds and humans, with maps and data for everything from poultry farming to birdwatching.
The maps are supported by an authoritative text that uses the very latest data and case studies from BirdLife International. Packed with sumptuous photos, original diagrams, and imaginative graphics that bring the numbers to life, this book is a stunning and timely insight into perhaps the most colorful and intriguing group of organisms on our planet.The premier illustrated atlas of bird diversity, behavior, and conservation Features full-color maps, photos, and diagrams Covers bird evolution, classification, and behavior Describes the complex relationship between birds and their habitats Explores the impact of human activities on species survival Illustrates where and why birds are most under threat--and how to protect them
Since its first appearance in July 2009, Matt's 'Bird of the Week' feature for the Caught by the River website has quickly become a cult hit. His pop-art watercolours are distinctive and enchanting, as are his innovative descriptions, which see great tits 'bossing the other birds around', the 'playful yet shy buoyancy' of bullfinches and the 'improbable' nature of the waxwing ('like a computer-generated samurai finch').
With 52 birds, one for each week of the year, this delightful gift book will appeal to bird watching enthusiasts, children and adults, and art and illustration fans alike.
J. A. Baker’s extraordinary classic of British nature writing was first published in 1967. Greeted with acclaim, it went on to win the Duff Cooper Prize, the pre-eminent literary prize of the time. Luminaries such as Ted Hughes, Barry Lopez and Andrew Motion have cited it as one of the most important books in twentieth-century nature writing.
Despite the association of peregrines with the wild, outer reaches of the British Isles, The Peregrine is set on the flat marshes of the Essex coast, where J. A. Baker spent long winters looking and writing about the visitors from the uplands – peregrines that spend the winter hunting the huge flocks of pigeons and waders that share the desolate landscape with them.
This new edition of the timeless classic, published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first publication, features an afterword by one of the book’s greatest admirers, Robert Macfarlane.