This is the second book by John in Langford press's Wildlife Art series. His first being ` Between the tides' which came out in 2007. John travels the British Isles looking for his subjects which vary from Guillemots to Gannets to Shags to seals. The great thing for me was how many of the locations I had been to and that was not including the ones on the north side of the Solway which I often cover. This year's trip to Orkney or Mull never mind Dorset and if you have missed out on some of the locations I am sure John's art will also stimulate you to get out and travel to enjoy our great coast.
John is based in the Solway at the Scottish Rockcliffe not the English one! It was his work with the British Geololical Society after university that gave him the ambition to start out. He has won Birdwatch Magazine 'Bird Artist of the Year' in 2007. He has also been a winner at the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art 2001, 2004 and 2006. He is a Member of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA).
His travels even took him to Cumbria even though he missed out St Bees Head! It was Foulney and Walney that gave him inspiration and with Balcary on his door step you can forgive him for St Bees! Another of John's visits took him to Brough of Birsay on mainland Orkney where you have to cross over a causeway at low tide such a great place to see the birds as well as a Norse village. Both Great and Arctic Skuas were enjoying the many seabirds here with John's Arctic Skuas coming from down the coast at Yesnaby.
I loved the little Kingfisher sitting on the rock but was lost on the landscape at Southerness. [not even the square lighthouse!] The waders here made up for it with many sightings at high tide as the birds are pushed towards you. John's text gives you an insight into the habitats and how he achieved his goals as well as events and predictions. The friend crying at the sight of Puffins at Bempton Cliffs with her first views of birds after collecting the bird images as souvenirs was touching while spelling the doom of Arctic Skuas as breeding birds in Britain if sea birds do not start to make a u turn.
This is yet another great example of British bird art and at number 36 in this wildlife art series should be another book to adore at your own time.