By: FJ Waydelin(Author)
167 pages, 1 colour photo, b/w photos
Hitherto unpublished books describing experiences of old egg collectors at first hand come to light only rarely. Adventures Among Birds, prepared by F. J. Waydelin in 1944, is a case in point. It covers boyhood bird-nesting in the Croydon area in the later years of the 19th century and, as he gains experience, describes expeditions elsewhere – including Ireland and the Shetlands on a number of occasions, and also Hungary.
Adventures Among Birds describes, inter alia, how the author with two of his friends bribe first one watcher then outwit another in order to obtain clutches of eggs of the Great Skua on the Island of Foula in the Shetlands. Again on Shetland, and bearing in mind that one is considering the indigenous population of white-tailed eagles which had bred in the islands from time immemorial, a detailed account of Waydelin and his friends taking an egg from an eyrie from North Voe on Shetland Mainland is history in itself.
Adventures Among Birds is complemented by descriptive passages of the social scene at the time and various issues, some affecting wildlife in general which are equally relevant today, e.g. gamekeeping.
In Ireland he describes being taught rope work on immense sea cliffs by the Rathlin islanders, and gives his views of conditions in Shetland at the time of his visits, where the crofting community was in thrall to the local merchants through whom all affairs involving finance were of necessity conducted.
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