The British Isles are remarkable for their extraordinary diversity of seabird life: spectacular gatherings of charismatic Arctic terns, elegant fulmars, and stoic eiders, to name just a few. Often found in the most remote and dramatic reaches of the isles, these colonies are landscapes shaped not by humans but by the birds. In 2015, Stephen Rutt escaped his hectic, anxiety-inducing life in London for the bird observatory on North Ronaldsay, the most northerly of the Orkney Islands. In thrall to these windswept havens and the people and birds that inhabit them, he began a journey to the edges of Britain. 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 Seafarers 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.
About the Author
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.