Author Interview: Peter Eeles, Life cycles of British & Irish Butterflies

NHBS recently attended Butterfly Conservation’s 2019 AGM in Shrewsbury. The event was highly enjoyable, with many excellent speakers, and we were excited to unveil the brand new NHBS Moth Trap at our stall; lookout for a blog post on this new product shortly.

During the day we also caught up with Peter Eeles, creator of the UK Butterflies website and author of the ground-breaking Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies to talk about his fascination with Lepidoptera and the process of writing this incredible book. Peter was also kind enough to sign a number of copies of his book which are now available to purchase here.

1) Could you tell us something about your background and how you first became interested in butterflies?

I grew up on the southern side of Cheltenham, on the edge of the Cotswolds, an area rich in butterflies and other wildlife. It was all rather idyllic and I remember with some fondness the time spent out in the countryside with my fellow explorers! My father and my ‘uncle Fred’ encouraged this interest, but it was watching a Garden Tiger moth emerge from its chrysalis, and seeing scores of Red Admiral feeding on rotting plums, that tipped me over the edge and into a butterfly-filled life.

 

2) How long did it take you to put Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies together?

Two years to write, 20 years to obtain the photos needed, and a lifetime of study! I should say that the book would not have seen the light of day were it not for the contributions of many others, especially members of UK Butterflies (a website that I set up in 2002), the team at Butterfly Conservation, and various experts in their chosen field, such as David Simcox, project manager of the Large Blue reintroduction programme.

Life cycles of British & Irish Butterflies

3) In your introduction to the book, you detail its aims in relation to Frohawk’s landmark text, Natural History of British Butterflies. You say that Frohawk is one of your heroes: was his work the driving force for you wanting to take on your own project?

I wouldn’t say it was the driving force, but it was certainly a huge inspiration in terms of understanding the ‘art of the possible’, and the amount of field observation and research that would be needed. The driving force was a desire to produce something different yet useful, especially a work that would contribute, in some small way, to the conservation of our butterfly fauna. Something ‘clicked’ when I read several research papers that relied on the identification of a particular larval instar (the period between moults), and I realised that anything that could help the army of butterfly recorders identify each instar and the immature stages more generally would be a great help, with the potential to open up a whole new dimension of butterfly recording.

 

4) What was the most challenging butterfly lifecycle to document?

That’s a harder question to answer than you might think! Chequered Skipper was challenging due to the amount of travel involved, although a work placement in Glasgow for two years, on and off, really helped! Mountain Ringlet was a challenge due to the remoteness of its sites, its short flight period and its tendency to disappear deep into grass tussocks in anything other than very bright conditions. The Large Blue, which spends most of its life in an ant nest, was always going to be a challenge, and my thanks go to David Simcox, Jeremy Thomas and Sarah Meredith for their help with this tricky subject.

Chequered Skipper life cycle – Life cycle of British & Irish Butterflies

5) There is evidence that butterflies are already being influenced by climate change – what worries you the most about this? Are there any species that you will be excited about seeing more frequently in the UK in the future?

My biggest concern is with less mobile species that are unable to move to suitable patches in our increasingly fragmented landscape, as their habitat becomes unsuitable, or is lost due to development or agriculture. Conversely, it would be nice to see semi-regular visitors, such as the Long-tailed Blue and continental Swallowtail, gain a foothold, just as the Red Admiral and Clouded Yellow can now be considered resident, with records of successful overwintering each year in southern England.

 

6) Have you any new book projects in mind for the future?

No plans as yet, but never say never!

Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies
Hardback,  Sept 2019,  £29.99 £34.99

With detailed descriptions and photos of the adult, egg, caterpillar and chrysalis of each species, this book reveals in detail the fascinating life cycles of the 59 butterfly species that are considered resident in – or regular migrants – to Britain and Ireland.

Signed copies available, while stocks last.

Browse all our books covering insects and other invertebrates.

How bird atlases swept the world… with a little help from their friends

The bird atlas movement that has swept the world in the last 40 years is surely one of the great recent achievements of citizen science.

More than 400 have been published since the 1970s and it is possible more people have been involved as volunteers than in any other form of biological data collection.

But it was not birders but botanists who pioneered the biological atlas, with the now familiar grid-based dot-maps. The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland’s Atlas of the British flora was a revelation when it appeared in 1962; half-a-century later American ornithologist Walter Ellison would describe it as the “great-grandfather of the hundreds of natural history grid-based atlases that were to follow in the next few decades as the atlas movement swept over the face of the Earth”.

1962 Atlas of the British flora - the great-grandfather of all natural history atlases
1962 Atlas – the great-grandfather of the natural history atlas

The story is nicely told in C.D. Preston’s paper Following the BSBI’s lead: the influence of the Atlas of the British flora, 1962-2012. Planning had begun in 1950 and from the start it was intended to be a scientific exercise. The atlas in fact had little impact on science, which had to wait until computers that could analyse the amount of data atlases generate became widely available, but it did have an immediate impact on conservation – leading directly to the first British Red Data Book.  

Speaking at the atlas’ launch, Max Nicholson, then head of the Nature Conservancy, described it as a great leap forward. And –  we can imagine the great Twentieth Century conservationist had his tongue firmly in his cheek – suggested the ornithologists had been put to shame by the botanists.

Tony Norris, another of Britain’s conservation greats, responded when he and members of the West Midland Bird Club produced the Atlas of the Breeding Birds in the West Midlands in 1970.

1970 West Midlands atlas; image courtesy BTO
1970 West Midlands atlas; image courtesy BTO

The first grid-based bird atlas, modelled on the format pioneered by the botanists, covered the English counties of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, and inspired the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland, organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, published in 1976.

The 1976 bird atlas was followed by The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland (1986), The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland (1994), and, bringing things right up to date, the Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland (2013). The fieldwork led to any number of county and regional atlases to various parts of Britain and Ireland – a recent post on the Devon Bird Atlas 2007-2013 prompted this look at bird atlases.  

1976 British and Iriah atlas; image courtesy BTO
1976 British and Irish atlas; image courtesy BTO

Dawn Balmer, the BTO’s head of surveys, guesses at least 60,000 volunteers have contributed in Britain and Ireland alone over the last 40 years, 40,000 on the most recent atlas. Some take holidays in remote places in order to fill gaps, some make expedition-like trips to remote islands, some embark on marathon mountain bike journeys to record birds in inaccessible parts of the Scottish Highlands.

She said: “The atlas only gets finished because people do amazing things. Every time there is a new atlas you are engaging people in citizen science… it is quite addictive, people become atlas addicts.”

By the turn of the 21st Century there were also British atlases to butterflies, moths, bryophytes, reptiles and amphibians, spiders, dragonflies, molluscs, leeches and ticks. Freshwater fish followed soon after, and after that fleas, the latter the product of a 50-year labour by schoolteacher and wartime Spitfire pilot Bob George.

All stemmed from the Atlas of the British flora, which perceptive contemporary reviewers recognised had a significance beyond the British Isles.

Grid-based dot-maps were promoted by the European Ornithological Atlas Committee, formed in 1971 – the idea of using grid squares, for many years a solely military pre-occupation, had originally come from the Netherlands.

Bird atlases for France and Denmark appeared in 1976. The first American bird atlas, to Vermont, was published in 1985; by 1990 all the Atlantic coastal states from Maine to Virginia had completed fieldwork for bird atlases.

Atlas of Breeding Birds of Vermont (second edition, 2013)
Atlas of Breeding Birds of Vermont (second edition, 2013)

At the last count there were more than 400 national or regional bird atlases from nearly 50 countries, the majority in Europe and North America. There were fewer covering Africa and the Pacific, where all but one come from Australia, and only a handful from Asia, the Middle East and South America.

The original Atlas of the British flora contained another gift: it included pre-1930 records – not as far away in time then as it appears to be now – of uncommon species as open circles and contemporary records as black dots, making it immediately clear many species were in decline.

A standout feature of the 1994 New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland was a huge reduction in the breeding range of farmland birds since fieldwork for the earlier atlases had been done. The 2013 atlas revealed upland birds and wading birds – according to Balmer the extent of the latter’s problems came as a particular shock – were under far more pressure than previously recognised.

“It is about the bigger picture and you only get that from having these large scale surveys periodically,” Balmer said. “It really helps you identify species which are showing the greatest change over time and it can highlight groups that are real conservation challenges.”

Browse the range of recent regional bird atlases published in the wake of the BTO Bird Atlas 2007-11.

 

Book of the week: Lichens: An Illustrated Guide to British and Irish Species

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Lichens: An Illustrated Guide to British and Irish Species

Frank S. Dobson

What?

New sixth edition of this essential illustrated field guide to British and Irish Lichen.

Lichens: An Illustrated Guide to the British and Irish Species jacket image

Why?

This compact, portable field guide has been updated to conform to the nomenclature of Smith C.W. et al. (2009) and more recent changes, and includes a number of species not included in that flora.

Particular features that will appeal to both field researcher and amateur lichenologist are the large number of photographs, mostly full-colour; the plentiful line-drawings, species descriptions, habitat notes and distribution maps; suggestions to to assist in separating similar species; and the retention from the previous editions of the popular generic ‘lateral key’ – which has been enlarged.

Ecologists will find reference to the effects of air pollution, broadening the guide’s appeal into conservation science, and for all readers there is a thorough informative introduction to lichens and lichenology.

Who?

Frank S. Dobson has written and illustrated many books and articles on lichenology, natural history and photography. He has lectured and run many courses on lichenology for the Field Studies Council and other similar organisations. He is an honorary member of the British Lichen Society, has acted as Treasurer, serving on the BLS Council for a number of years and was elected President for the years 1992-94. He is now retired but was professionally involved in photography for most of his working life and was on the photographic consultative committees of both Twickenham College and the London College of Printing.

Available Now from NHBS


 

Book of the Week: Atlas of British and Irish Hawkweeds

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Atlas of British and Irish Hawkweeds

by David McCosh & Tim Rich

What?

A new atlas from the BSBI (Botanical Society of the British Isles) detailing the distribution of the various species of Hawkweed found in Britain and Ireland.

Why?

30 years of fieldwork and herbarium research from McCosh (see below) are behind thisAtlas of British and Irish Hawkweeds jacket image exciting new botanical atlas covering over 400 species of Hawkweed. This essential reference work has been produced with support from Tim Rich of the National Museum of Wales.

Each species account includes a map and a silhouette, and distribution information is accompanied by details on distinguishing features where required, plus official IUCN threat status.

This volume follows, and builds upon, the 2006 monograph by Sell & Murrell.

Who?

David McCosh is a retired management consultant currently living in Norfolk. He has been studying plants for over 50 years and has a special interest in the plants of Peeblesshire, Scotland in the area where he grew up. He started studying hawkweeds in the 1960s and is now one of the country’s experts, and this book of maps is the culmination of his life’s work compiling a database of the records.

Tim Rich is Head of Vascular Plant Section at the National Museum of Wales. His expertise is in the area of UK Plant taxonomy, especially Brassicaceae, Gentianaceae, Rosaceae and Asteraceae.

 

Available Now from NHBS

Silent Summer: Editor Interview

Norman Maclean, editor of the best-selling Silent Summer Jacket ImageSilent Summer, talks to NHBS about his career, early home-grown experiments with nature conservation and the state of wildlife policy in Britain today.

What first inspired you to pursue your field of study, and how old were you?

I have been interested in wildlife since my earliest years (aged 6), being brought up amongst fields and farms on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I was equally interested in insects, birds, mammals and fish. My parents were very tolerant of my rearing caterpillars, beetles, field mice and newts at home, mostly in my bedroom.

What were the books that inspired you when you were young?

The books of Richard and Cherry Kearton on Nature Photography in St. Kilda and elsewhere.

“Direct From Nature: The Photographic Work of Richard and Cherry Kearton” by John Bevis.

Later, “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson.

What is your all time favourite natural history book?

Gilbert White’s “Natural History of Selborne”.

Who are your heroes in the field?

Gilbert White, Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, David Attenborough.

How do you split your time between the field and your writing projects?

You might call me a polymath. Academically, I am Professor in Molecular Genetics, but I have strong hobby interests in wildlife, trout fishing, playing tennis, gardening, antiquities and travel.

How has your core understanding of the subject changed since you began your research?

Enormously. As a geneticist I have lived through 50 years of amazing discovery and change. In terms of wildlife, ecology and conservation I have always been a keen field biologist and have taught on student field courses in Southern Spain for over 20 years. I have also been witness to the alarming decline in insects and some birds and mammals. I have studied wildlife in over 50 countries worldwide, seeing the destruction of so much natural habitat, yet savouring the riches of what is left.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

My main research topic is gene regulation, and I and my research group have made some signicant discoveries in this area. Maybe my proudest moment in youth was discovering the first breeding of the Golden Plusia moth in Scotland when I was twelve – confirmed by letter from the Edinburgh Museum of Natural History.

What do you consider to be the most interesting current developments in your field of study?

In genetics the sequencing of the genomes of many species including humans, and in conservation biology the return to the UK of breeding cranes, red kites, otters, pine martens and others.

Which current issues in conservation do you feel have the biggest impact on your field, and how would like to see these dealt with?

The realization that you cannot effectively conserve wildlife in the UK by making fences round reserves and letting nature take its course.  Ecologically speaking, almost all of Britain and Ireland has been moulded by human interference and activity so our future responsibility lies in the active management of wildlife, including judicious culling where necessary.

How would you like to see your field develop in the future?

With increased political prioritization of wildlife conservation and the preservation of what remains of the countryside. We must urgently control further human population increase and resist further demands on space, water supplies, energy supplies and contributions to global warming. We should all be prepared to reduce our own standards of living in order to improve those of the other species with which we share the planet.

Where will you be taking your next study trip?

Ethiopia.

What will your next book be?

I don’t know. Any ideas welcome!

If you could spend a month working in another field, which would you choose?

Ancient History.

How would you encourage young people who might be interested in pursuing a career in your field?

Get a degree in biology or genetics at a reputable university and learn your own fauna and flora.

Get your copy of Silent Summer today

Silent Summer: State of Wildlife

Over the past 20 years dramatic declines have taken place in UK insect populations. Eventually, such declines must have knock-on effects for other animals, especially high profile groups such as birds and mammals. This authoritative, yet accessible account details the current state of the wildlife in Britain and Ireland and offers an insight into the outlook for the future.

Written by a team of the country’s leading experts, it appraises the changes that have occurred in a wide range of wildlife species and their habitats and outlines urgent priorities for conservation. It includes chapters on each of the vertebrate and major invertebrate groups, with the insects covered in particular depth. Also considered are the factors that drive environmental change and the contribution at local and government level to national and international wildlife conservation. Essential reading for anyone who is interested in, and concerned about, UK wildlife.

With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough.

About Silent Summer: The State of Wildlife in Britain and Ireland

Over the past 20 years dramatic declines have taken place in UK insect populations. Eventually, such declines must have knock-on effects for other animals, especially high profile groups such as birds and mammals. This authoritative, yet accessible account details the current state of the wildlife in Britain and Ireland and offers an insight into the outlook for the future.

Written by a team of the country’s leading experts, it appraises the changes that have occurred in a wide range of wildlife species and their habitats and outlines urgent priorities for conservation. It includes chapters on each of the vertebrate and major invertebrate groups, with the insects covered in particular depth. Also considered are the factors that drive environmental change and the contribution at local and government level to national and international wildlife conservation. Essential reading for anyone who is interested in, and concerned about, UK wildlife.

With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough. Buy Silent Summer now from NHBS

What the reviewers say about Silent Summer

Silent Summer is “like a Domesday Book of British Wildlife”, according to its editor, Professor Norman Maclean. In a foreword, Sir David Attenborough warns that “it is invaluable now and in the future it will be irreplaceable”. Will any real action be taken? Of course not. Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s masterpiece, alerted the world in 1962 to the effects of agricultural pollutants such as DDT and in many ways launched today’s environmental movement. Silent Summer raises more complex and local questions. Terence Blacker, The Independent

Now, in an echo of that breakthrough publication, Sir David Attenborough has written the foreword to a new book, Silent Summer. Since Silent Spring we thought we had learnt a lot. But, as Sir David and 40 ecologists make clear, that is not so. Our wildlife is in retreat thanks to modern farming and the encroachment of urban life on the countryside. The Times

Published in 1962, Silent Spring helped launch the global environmental movement and, in Britain, prompted an eventual ban on pesticides such as DDT. Maclean believes, however, that such triumphs have done little to slow the destruction. “The evidence is that we could be in the middle of the next great extinction of wildlife, both globally and in Britain,” he said.

Butterflies are among the hardest hit of insect groups. Five species are extinct and, of the 59 that regularly breed in Britain, most have seen sharp declines in population. Jeremy Thomas, professor of ecology at Oxford University, who wrote Silent Summer’s chapter on butterflies, said populations were falling faster than almost any other group. The reason, he suggests, is that the caterpillars of many species need particular plant species to feed on — but these are often targeted by farmers as weeds. “Nearly every butterfly decline can be attributed to habitat loss or the degradation and increased isolation of surviving patches of habitat,” he said. Jonathan Leake in The Times

Perhaps what I’m excitedly photographing and noting today is the cliched ‘pale shadow’ of twenty years ago. I may be incredibly lucky in that I’m seeing something that in terms of biodiversity is equivalent to fifty or even a hundred years ago, but there’s no way of knowing. 10000birds.com

A new major environmental book, entitled Silent Summer: The State of Wildlife in Britain and Ireland, offers up disturbing facts and figures about the human impact on nature in the British Isles. Celebrated naturalist, broadcaster and national treasure Sir David Attenborough has penned the forward to the book, a collaborative effort by 40 UK ecologists, which outlines the impacts of pesticides, population growth and intensive farming on British and Irish flora and fauna. Greenfudge.com

Prof Maclean argues that “the evidence is that we could be in the middle of the next great extinction of wildlife, both globally and in Britain.” Nick Collins, The Telegraph

Buy Silent Summer now from NHBS

Contents of Silent Summer

List of contributors; Foreword David Attenborough; Preface; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations;
1. Introduction Norman Maclean; Part I. Factors Driving Changes in Wildlife: 2. Climate change T. H. Sparks, C. D. Preston and D. B. Roy; 3. Agriculture, woodland and semi-natural habitats Ken Norris; 4. Vertebrate animal introductions Christopher Lever; 5. Plant introductions Andrew Lack; 6. Urbanisation and development Kevin J. Gaston and Karl L. Evans; 7. The great game: the interaction of field sports and conservation in Britain from the 1950s to 2008 Robin Sharp; 8. Going fishing: recent trends in recreational angling Robin Sharp and Norman Maclean; 9. Impacts of hormone disrupting chemicals on wildlife C. R. Tyler and R. M. Goodhead; 10. Water pollution: other aspects Michael Hughes and Carl Sayer; 11. 25 key questions in ecology Norman Maclean; Part II. Conservation in Action: 12. Conservation in action in Britain and Ireland Andy Clements; 13. Wildlife in the UK Overseas Territories Mike Pienkowski; 14. UK involvement in conservation outside UK territory N. Leader-Williams and A. M. Rosser; Part III. The Case Histories: 15. Mammals in the 20th century D. W. Yalden; 16. Bats Karen A. Haysom, Gareth Jones, Dan Merrett and Paul A. Racey; 17. State of bird populations in Britain and Ireland Robert A. Robinson; 18. The conservation of the Grey Partridge N. W. Sotherton, N. J. Aebischer and J. A. Ewald; 19. Reptiles Chris P. Gleed-Owen; 20. Amphibians Tim Halliday; 21. Freshwater fishes: a declining resource Peter S. Maitland and John F. Craig; 22. Riverflies Cyril Bennett and Warren Gilchrist; 23. Bumblebees Dave Goulson; 24. Butterflies J. A. Thomas; 25. Moths Richard Fox, Kelvin F. Conrad, Mark S. Parsons, Martin S. Warren and Ian P. Woiwod; 26. Dragonflies (Odonata) in Britain and Ireland Peter Mill, Steve Brooks and Adrian Parr; 27. Flies, beetles and bees, wasps and ants (Diptera, Coleoptera, and Aculeate Hymenoptera) Alan Stubbs; 28. Hemiptera Alan J. A. Stewart and Peter Kirby; 29. Grasshoppers, crickets and allied insects Judith Marshall; 30. Aerial insect biomass: trends from long-term monitoring Richard Harrington, Chris R. Shortall and Ian P. Woiwod; 31. Invertebrates Richard Chadd and Brian Eversham; 32. Land and freshwater molluscs Ian J. Killeen; 33. The sea shore S. J. Hawkins, H. E. Sugden, P. S. Moschella, N. Mieszkowska, R. C. Thompson and M. T. Burrows; 34. The offshore waters John Baxter; 35. Plants Andrew Lack; 36. Conclusion: what is the likely future for the wildlife in Britain and Ireland? Norman Maclean; Glossary; Index.

Bio of Norman Maclean

Norman Maclean is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at Southampton University and has a strong interest in wildlife, conservation and river management. He has helped to run student field courses for more than 20 years and has authored and edited more than a dozen textbooks and reference books in Genetics and Cell Biology. He is an Elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society and the Institute of Biology.

Buy Silent Summer now from NHBS

Britain’s Reptiles and Amphibians

174837[2] Brand New – Now in Stock at NHBS This detailed guide to the reptiles and amphibians of Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands has been produced with the aim of inspiring an increased level of interest in these exciting and fascinating animals. It is designed to help anyone who finds a lizard, snake, turtle, tortoise, terrapin, frog, toad or newt to identify it with confidence.  

Britain’s Reptiles and Amphibians includes superbly illustrated introductory sections on the biology and conservation, taxonomy, life-cycle and behaviour of each species group; profiles of the 16 native reptiles and amphibians that breed in Britain, Ireland and the Channel islands and the 5 marine turtles that visit our seas; profiles of 7 established non-native species; distribution maps; hints and tips on where, when and how to watch reptiles and amphibians. Order your copy today

See internal scans from this book

Other recent arrivals include Lizards of Sri Lanka, Las Tortugas y los Cocodrilianos de los Paises Andinos del Tropico and Black Python: Morelia Boeleni.

Browse more new Reptile and Amphibian titles

Browse Recent Reptile & Amphibian Bestsellers

New Entomology Titles at NHBS – July 2009

181422[2]This month has seen several new insect titles fly into NHBS, including the instant bestseller Volume 2: Damselflies (Zygoptera), the companion to the bestselling Volume 1: Dragonflies (Anisoptera) in the Field Guide to the Larvae and Exuviae of British Dragonflies series.

Other books of note include Arthropod Fauna of the UAE, Volume 2 , A Pocket Guide to the Shieldbugs and Leatherbugs of Britain and Ireland and Common Spiders & Other Arachnids of the Gambia, West Africa.

Browse more New Entomology Titles – July 2009

Lichens & Bryophytes: New Titles at NHBS

Some great new lichen and bryophyte titles are now on the shelves at NHBS, including the greatly expanded and revised new edition of The Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland – the key reference for the identification of lichens in the British Isles.

Lichens of Great Britain and IrelandThe first edition of The Lichen Flora of Great Britain and Ireland was an outstanding achievement for British Lichenology – a pioneering work and the first of its type in Europe. This much enlarged revision reflects the considerable accumulation of new information that has occurred since the publication of the first edition and is symptomatic of the enormous advances in lichen taxonomy over the last two decades.

This book is undoubtedly the standard work for the identification of lichens in Great Britain and Ireland and will be indispensable to all serious students of British, Irish and overseas lichenology and other biologists working in related fields of ecology, pollution, chemical and environmental studies.

Order your copy of The Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland today!

Other new lichens and bryophytes titles include Introduction to Bryophytes and Bryophyte Biology.

Browse other recent Lichens & Bryophytes titles

Browse Plants & Botany

The Latest New Naturalist Volume Is Here – Save 22%


New Naturalist WildfowlVolume #110 in the legendary New Naturalist series has now arrived at NHBS.

Wildfowl provides a much-anticipated overview of the fascinating birds that have become icons of our diminishing wilderness areas.

David Cabot has been obsessed with wildfowl for nearly sixty years; in this seminal new work, he discusses the 56 species of wildfowl that have been recorded either in a natural state, or that have been introduced and now maintain self-sustaining populations in Britain and Ireland.

Order your copy of Wildfowl today – and save £11!

Browse other new Shorebirds and Waterfowl titles

Browse the New Naturalist series