The second in the new series Wildlife and People by Langford Press.
From the author:
"Seabirds and islands, an addictive mix, have dominated my life. Ailsa Craig and its gannets started the rot more than 60 years ago leading via a tortuous route to the Bass Rock, Christmas Island, Cape Kidnappers and other remote seabird haunts. This journey was eased by a St Andrews University degree in Zoology and Oxford D Phil under Niko Tinbergen and Mike Cullen which helped my appointment as Lecturer, later Reader, in Zoology at Aberdeen University. I have been very lucky thanks to gannets. I should mention, also, the Scottish Seabird Centre with which I have been involved as a Director since its inception. In 1982 I was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh."
"[...] I highly recommend On the Rocks for its story-telling verve and for the lens it focuses on one of the most creative eras in British ornithological research, halcyon days of a more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to fieldwork before the creeping tyranny of health and safety. As Nelson says of his childhood memories of watching birds in the West Riding of Yorkshire in the 1930s, ‘ All of these were something and nothing, and yet everything. Smitten early, you are hooked for life. ’"
- Euan Dunn, Ibis 156, 2014
"[...] This book is the captivating story of [a] charmed life, though substantially more about the birds (in particular), places and other people than the author, told with gentle humour and a disarming modesty and the occasional short tirade against humankind’s appalling impact on the environment. There are intimate glimpses into the life of the young boy and the adventures that free-wheeling ornithological research could bring before bureaucracy and health & safety overwhelmed it. The book is nicely produced and richly illustrated with Bryan’s evocative photographs and over 100 marvellous drawings and paintings by his close friend John Busby. It’s a delight."
– Alan Knox, British Birds, 23-01-2014