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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.
Open your hearts and minds to the world of seabirds and the wild landscape of the British Isles in this thoughtful and eloquently written book. Stephen Rutt travels the British Isles and tells of his love for birds that spend much of their life out at sea. Even if not previously entranced by seabirds or nature, Stephen Rutt’s words cast a spell to draw you in. If like me, nature is part and parcel of your inner soul, then this is simply magical, but also holds a warning for our future. One huge reminder from The Seafarers is that it proves just how important nature is for our mental health and wellbeing. The introduction really spoke to me, we learn a little about Stephen before he moves on to ten chapters focusing on different seabirds. From the thrill of meeting a Lech’s storm petrel, to the declining population of the skua, he travels from Lundy to Shetland and we learn as much about the islands as we do seabirds. His thoughts on: “the Anthropocene - defined as the era in which the majority of things on earth have been altered by the actions of humans” and that: “We are losing our seabirds. I fear that what we are seeing with plastics is perhaps the beginning of another death spiral” really hit home. Winner of the Saltire First Book of the Year 2019, The Seafarers is not only a beautiful book to read, it acts as a reminder of the importance of our natural world.
The new season begins. The geese return... Selected as a BOOK OF THE YEAR by The Times; The arrival of huge flocks of geese in the UK is one of the most evocative and powerful harbingers of winter; a vast natural phenomenon to capture the imagination. So Stephen Rutt found when he moved to Dumfries one autumn, coinciding with the migration of thousands of pink-footed geese who spend their winter in the Firth. Thus began an extraordinary odyssey.; From his new surroundings in the north to the wide open spaces of his childhood home in the south, Stephen traces the lives and habits of the most common species of goose in the UK and explores the place they have in our culture, our history and, occasionally, on our festive table.; Wintering takes you on a vivid tour of the inbetween landscapes the geese inhabit, celebrating the short days, varied weathers and long nights of the season during which we share our home with these large, startling, garrulous and cooperative birds.; Praise for Wintering:; 'A poignant testament to how we can find peace in the rhythms of the natural world.' - The Times, Books of the Year 2019; 'Illuminating history and descriptive nature writing make Wintering an understated gem.' - Waterstones.com, Gifts for Nature Lovers; 'Rutt's dreamy prose is as cool and elegant as the season he charts.' - Jon Dunn, BBC Wildlife; 'I will never look at geese the same again. Strangely, I can't wait for winter.' - Caught by the River
*WINNER* of the Saltire First Book of the Year 2019 / Longlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2019; 'A beautifully illuminating portrait of lives lived largely on the wing and at sea' -- Julian Hoffman, author of Irreplaceable and The Small Heart of Things; The British Isles are remarkable for their extraordinary 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 our shores, these colonies are landscapes shaped not by us 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 Shetland, to the Farnes of Northumberland, down to the Welsh islands off the Pembrokeshire coast, he explores the part seabirds have played in our history and what they continue to mean to Britain today.; The Seafarers is the story of those travels: a love letter, written from the rocks and the edges, for the salt-stained, isolated and ever-changing lives of seabirds. This beguiling book reveals what it feels like to be immersed in a completely wild landscape, examining the allure of the remote in an over-crowded world.