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The Norfolk Plover (cover)

Publisher: Wild Breckland Books

Publication Year: 2023

Binding: Hardback

Page Count: 215

ISBN Number: 9781399955690

Price: £ 29.95

The Norfolk Plover: A Study of the Stone-curlew

Back in 2002, one of my first jobs in conservation was being part of a four-person RSPB team that monitored and protected the nests of Stone-curlews in the Breckland area of Norfolk, and my love of Stone-curlews is still as strong today. The patch I was assigned to was an estate farmed by Chris Knights, which had a well-trained team of gamekeepers and farm staff who were very adept at finding and protecting the nests. This patch is the inspiration for his book, which looks at Chris’s lifelong interest in these fascinating birds.

With their cryptic plumage and large yellow eyes, Stone-curlews are curious birds with very interesting behaviour that most people only get to see distantly in the heat haze at Breckland reserves such as Weeting Heath. As a photographer, Chris is fortunate to farm on a large estate which has a very healthy population of Stone-curlews, and so has easy access to these birds where he can erect hides close to nests and bring to life all aspects of the intimate life of these birds. The book is written with a real passion for both the species and the Breckland landscape. It is a real labour of love from over 60 years photographing them, with stunning photographs throughout which capture many postures and behaviours, often quite comical, that most people would never see, and really endear you to them.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing this book, and it has brought back lovely memories of that summer spent with these special birds, and anyone with an interest in not just Stone-curlews but birds and wildlife in general will enjoy it.

Book reviewed by Neil Calbrade

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