Monday, 19 January 2015

I'm back and its time to talk books first!

Hey everyone I've not fallen off the world although sometimes I see the news and think I need to get off this planet! Anyway enough about that, hopefully you are all well and enjoying birds of prey where ever you are.

So to get back into the swing of things I want to talk about books and in particular two of my favourite books which I rediscovered! These two books are by the same author Mike Tomkies, and they are titled On Wing and Wild Water and Golden Eagle Years but its been a few years since I read either so I pulled Golden Eagle years back off the shelf last week after stumbling onto the publishers website.

(Mike Tomkies latest book)

The publishers are Whittles Publishing and I just so happened to see that a new book was due out titled The Life of Buzzards by Dr Peter Dare, sadly I don't know anymore about the book as it hasn't been released but the reason I am so interested to read this book is because despite the Buzzard being the UK's most common bird of prey as far as I know there is only one detailed book on the species by Colin Tubbs. The other great thing about Whittles publishing is they obviously like to support birds of prey and the fantastic conservationists who have studied them you just have to check out the species covered including Roy Dennis and his Ospreys, Gordon Riddle and Kestrels, Don Scott with Hen Harriers and Golden Eagles by Dave Walker plus many more! The thing I love about all these books is they are all straight from the field notes of true champions for birds of prey, each one of the named authors above will have spent hours of their time learning about their chosen species and helping everyone learn about so much more about the lives of birds of prey.

This brings me back to Mike Tomkies and his work or at  least the books I have read about his work, Mike spent over 35 years studying wildlife and he is probably most famous for his work studying Golden Eagles in Scotland. Not only did he take photographs, film and detailed notes of elusive wildlife but his passion helps take you into the hide with him looking in at a Golden eaglet. If you are like me and at your happiest outside studying birds of prey then you need to take a look at Whittles Publishing and the books they publish!

A lot has been happening within the UK and birds of prey, persecution is still taking place with a Hen Harrier day taking place last year organised by Mark Avery and attended by Chris Packham and a group of hardy supporters in the pouring rain. There is still a war taking place though and I'm don't use the word war lightly between raptor conservationists and the shooting fraternity. Still a great blog to follow if your on the side of raptors is and another one which is evolving quickly is Birders against wildlife crime at and a fantastic resource for anyone out in the countryside. I will try and do a separate blog on them at a later date.

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