Wild Island – A year in the Hebrides by Jane Smith
Published by Birlinn Edinburgh hardback Pages 160
ISBN 978 1 78027 269 6 Price £20.00
This is a very nice book set on the RSPB reserve of Oronsay next to Colonsay. The author Jane spent several years travelling to Colonsay to get to this little island of only a few sq kilometres. Sadly she was not a sea worthy passenger so the ride across to the main island was often done inside the ferry not observing the varied wildlife outside. The low tide land rover trip was a better way of travelling to Oronsay itself as high tide creates the island again!
The only accommodation here was as a volunteer for the RSPB and both herself and her 2 children enjoyed ‘mucking in’ on the island as most of the habitat management is done by farm stock and feeding them especially hay as the this tall vegetation helps the Corncrakes nesting on the island along with seed for the many Twite in winter when fed to the cattle.
Jane does not only write the book but she paints it as well in her own style which goes well with the book. Art is always known by individuals but I was taken by the Cuckoo being mobbed by pipits and like post cards most of the art proclaims good weather on the island as I am sure you don’t want to get the pallet too wet! As an avid Island lover myself [on holiday!] this is a great book to make you want to travel to the islands off the west coast of Scotland and a far and I am sure those buying it will get the bug as well.