This selection of images of creatures to be seen in Scotland, is the product of the author's enthusiasm for his native country's wild places and the things that live there. Compiled from images collected over a dozen years since his retirement from the world of education the text outlines his belief that in this digital age, through publication of their photographic work, many amateurs like himself can help introduce and inform people in Scotland, and visitors from abroad, about the natural world that lies in many cases not far from their doorsteps His particular interest in species such as mountain hare, ptarmigan and snow bunting give a clue as to his favourite places in Scotland and his photograpic images of these species have seldom been bettered. His love of the high ground is apparent too from the number of the plants illustrated which belong to the moorlands and hills. His fascination with the shorelands is well ilustrated in his images of shorebirds, from those to be found wading in sandy places to those that cling to the cliffs of Scotland's well known seabird colonies.
The accompanying audio CD does not duplicate Sea to Summit's contents but provides a complementary description of Scottish habitats through twelve sound pictures or 'soundscapes' mixed from recordings made from the Atlantic to the North Sea. Particulary atmospheric are the tracks of corncrakes calling all around the stereo picture on the outer island of Barra or the "chorus" of Roe Deer barking in a Strathspey woodland. Neither the book nor CD are exhaustive in their selection of images and sounds leaving many more species for the nature watcher, and listener to seek out inspired by this unique collection of images and sounds from the Scottish landscape. And for the visitor from far away here is an ideal, compact distillation of some of Scotland's beautiful wildlife to take home and through which to recall so much of what makes Scotland and its wildlife special.
A lifelong outdoors person, Derek McGinn spent many years recording the sounds of the wildlife of Scotland. Always a camera user, in retirement he took his photography more seriously and inspired by the then small number of professional wildlife photographers working in Scotland set about photographing many of the species he had "hunted" as a sound recordist. A naturalist who carries a camera, rather than a wildlife photographer, an early online book published for family members only, prompted a demand that it be published. The result of this private venture was sucessful. An old friend loosing their sight and unable to see his images inspired the author to create the audio CD which now accompanies this modified version of the original book. Through it he hopes that people with visual impairment will be able to enjoy sounds of Scotland's countryside as represented by his audio creation. Together the book and audio CD form a unique assemblage of "images" of animals and plants some of which are threatened in one way or another. If they prompt just a few people to ask why this is so then the author will feel his efforts have been worthwhile.