Current Issue #480

Book Review:
Flight Lines

South Australian beachcombers will be familiar with the shy habits of plovers, with nesting areas fenced off at various points along our state’s coast.

Former journo Andrew Darby embarked on an immersive investigation of the complex migratory behaviour of these tiny shorebirds at a time when his own life was hanging in the balance, and the poetic descriptions of what he observed make for soothing reading, even for one not particularly interested in ornithology.

The story covers not only the birds but the many dedicated and somewhat eccentric characters around the country and the world who dedicate hours to wading about in freezing shallows and lying in dunes to catch a glimpse of a rare bird.

Readers are left in no doubt that the habitat and migratory corridors for these tiny creatures are under extreme threat from human development but also that knowledge can bring change for the better.

Author: Andrew Darby
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Amanda Pepe

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