186 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
This is the author's personal and engaging narrative of a glorious summer spent as a field assistant on Skomer Island, a small island off the Welsh coast hosting some of Britain's most spectacular seabird colonies. His role was first and foremost to monitor a range of seabirds, including Guillemots, Kittiwakes and fulmars, but at the same time, he also thoroughly enjoyed the plant and other animal life that inhabits this unique spot as well as life in the small community of conservationists that shared it with him. Sheer Cliffs and Shearwaters traces the changes that mark the passing months and seasons, from the arrival of thousands of breeding birds to their eventual departure, and explores the natural history of the landscape they occupy. But this is also a personal story, a reflection on life and work of a naturalist on this remote island.
"[...] A lovely read."
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After completing a degree in Economics and Politics, and working as a clerical officer for the NHS, Richard Kipling decided to follow his interest in natural history and volunteered for the National Trust in Shropshire before studying Countryside Conservation at Aberystwyth University, ultimately gaining a PhD in Pollination Ecology. In 2011 he worked as a field assistant on Skomer Island with the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales, a post he returned to in 2012. This is his first book.