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This book presents a series of essays describing the birds and mammals of Caithness. When they were written very little had been published on the wildlife of the county. Shearer and his contemporary Henry Osborne were quickly recognised at the time as authorities on the birds of the area, but with in a decade they had been forgotten. Hugh Clark and Robin Sellers rediscovered the articles in 2003 and found a treasure trove of detail from a period when what was already available was scant. The editors and compilers of the book are themselves no slouches in bird watching with many years of experience both in Caithness and elsewhere in recording and photographing birds and wildlife. They have used their own extensive knowledge supplemented by several other local sources to add new material at the end of each article to let the reader know the current position on the particular bird or animal. Whilst not an A - Z of birds or mammals of Caithness the essays are highly readable with each one standing on its own merits as the story of a particular species in its Caithness habitat. In addition the book includes pen pictures of different aspects of Shearer's interests as naturalist and archaeologist as well as on him personally. Also included are Shearer's letters to the John O'Groat Journal on various birds and mammals that are in reality shorter essays written to the same standard as his main essays but shorter in length.