Feathers and Eggshells
The Bird Journal of a Young London Girl
'I absolutely loved everything about this book and only wish that it had been around to inspire me as a young teenager.'
Jenny Steel www.haiths.com
Natalie Lawrence is a teenager with a passion for wild birds. Here she takes us on an extended tour of her favourite bird watching area - Hampstead Heath in London, a haven for wildlife comprising different habitats. From the mating dance of the Great Crested Grebe to the delicacy of the Treecreeper's beak, she reveals the beauty and diversity of the local bird life using drawings and photographs, prose and poetry.
This is a jewel of a book, the kind of small volume that all bird lovers will surely wish to own, indeed treasure. It reveals a wealth of beautiful things, and as such, is an inspiration for young and old alike.
Clearance sale: now 60% off
Author: Natalie Lawrence
Publisher: Brambleby Books
Year of Publication: November 2005
Format and Pages: Hardback, 72pp
Retail Price: £9.99
Our Discount Price: £3.99
Sample text from Feathers and Eggshells
Hampstead Heath is the largest open space near to where I live. Since the age of about five, it has always been one of my favourite places and I have spent many hours exploring it... As I got to explore nature, I began to understand how it was possible to miss the most extraordinary layers of life all around us, often hidden. As you start to explore, a different world comes to light, like the depths of a pool suddenly revealed by a shadow, where before only a bright reflection could be seen.
...My earliest memories of the Heath are of spending ages by the water's edge, mesmerised watching the ducks, coots and swans. I think that the water birds are definitely the birds that people visiting the Heath remember. Recently, I saw a group of Great Crested Grebes with a striped juvenile. It no longer had its baby fluff but was not yet in full adult plumage. The juvenile, aimlessly paddling around like a gormless adolescent and sometimes attempting to dive, kept getting chased off by pugnacious coots.
...Nuthatches and treecreppers are some of the most reclusive birds on the Heath. Unfortunately, I have only seen each of these species a few times, but they are lovely.The surprising dexterity with which a nuthatch can climb up and down tree trunks, even upside-down, is fascinating to watch. Treecreepers also spend their time on tree trunks, but they cannot descend, and so always move upwards in a spiralling motion, using their stiffened tail feathers as props.
...Apart from a couple of other species, the carrion-feeding and raptorial birds are the only species that prey on live mammals and birds: the Kestrel and Tawny Owl take small rodents whilst the Sparrowhawk hunts small birds such as Sparrows and Robins, and the crows feed off practically anything.
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Reviews and readers' comments
'... This book sees Natalie's skills blossoming. It reveals a strong artistic streak that enables her to depict in illustrations, photographs and poetry what she sees with imagination and clarity. Most of all, it is a love affair with the place and the wildlife that have enchanted her since she was a child. I hope you too will be inspired by the heartfelt passion of Feathers and Eggshells.' Derek Niemann, RSPB youth editor
This is an extraordinary book – a remarkable achievement by a sixteen year old girl, who has clearly had a passion for natural history since a very young age. ...I absolutely loved everything about this book and only wish that it had been around to inspire me as a young teenager. Watch out for Natalie Lawrence’s name. I feel we will be hearing (and probably seeing) a lot more of her in the future. Jenny Steel, www.haiths.com
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