176 pages, 150 colour photos
A practical title which will inspire people to study their local wildlife on a regular basis. Many birders watch a local patch and find it to be an extremely addictive, popular and enjoyable pastime. The chapters will enthuse readers about the incredible variety of wildlife experiences and species to be found close to home and help them to tune in to the nature around them and how it behaves at certain times of year and what can be found when.
This eye-opening book, which is full of inspiring stories and tips, is broken down by season. The average garden, for example, has hundreds of species, but Wildlife on Your Doorstep continues beyond the garden gate to focus on learning about tracking down wildlife and where to look for it close to home. A surprisingly large number of people have exciting species such as Badger and Otter within walking distance of their home, so the main narrative is teamed with a variety of practical tips about connecting with the wildlife on your doorstep and tuning in to the wealth of species that can see throughout the year. There are also seasonal tips such as when to look out for influxes of species such as Blackbird, Chaffinch and Painted Lady.
All in all this is an essential addition to the library of any nature enthusiast, and it will appeal strongly to the core of RSPB members who are regular readers of the author's magazine.
"[...] I’m a relative beginner as a wildlife-watcher and did puzzle over some of the references, whether they were flowers, or butterflies, e.g. Silver-washed Fritillary (it’s a butterfly), so a glossary explaining these would have been helpful to me. I thought the photos were inspiring and I would have liked to have seen more examples of the species Mark writes about. However, I do understand that you can’t cover everything in one relatively short book. Wildlife on Your Doorstep has definitely left me with an appetite to find out more."
– Bonita Johnson, BTO book reviews
"In keeping with the RPSB's new focus on conservation of birds in a wider context, Mark Ward [...] look at all the wildlife you might expect to find close to home, and how you can find it. It's an approach that's to be applauded, and the seasonal structure to the book is sensible and logical. Even better, though, is the amount of personal experience that the author brings in – far from leaving the reader feeling that only an expert could possibly find everything he talks about, he creates a sense of excitement and possibility about the most modest of "patches" that's inspirational as well as hugely educational"
– Matt Merritt, Bird Watching Magazine, May 2017
"From glow worms to grass snakes, Mark Ward's terrific book is practical guide to getting up close to nature, wherever you live or go walking. He'll tell you where to look for grebes doing the famed "weed dance", and even how to tempt badgers into the open in broad daylight (clue: no strong cosmetics)."
– LandLove, May 2017
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Mark Ward has been a wildlife journalist since the age of 16 and has spent his working life inspiring people about birds, wildlife, travel and conservation in print and digital publications. He has written a number of books on wildlife and is currently Editor of the RSPB's Nature's Home magazine, which has a readership of over 1 million people each quarter.