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In the Encounters in the Wild series, renowned nature writer Jim Crumley gets up close and personal with British wildlife: here, the skylark. With his inimitable passion and vision, he relives memorable encounters with some of our best-loved native species, offering intimate insights into their extraordinary lives.

“Watch this bird poised on a tussock, awaiting 
a signal from the wind, a thumbs up, an urging gust. Lift-off is gently inclined and silent. The transformations from gentle incline to vertical columnar flight, and from silence to song, coincide within a few airborne seconds, a few feet of ascent. The song is full-throated from the first note, as self-confident as the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth or Armstrong’s West End Blues. There is no preamble, no subtle dropped hint of the glories to come. The glories start with the downbeat.”


“Enthralling and often strident.” Observer

Trade information

  • Rights: World
  • BIC code(s): WNCB
  • BISAC code(s): NAT043000


About the author

Jim Crumley

A nature writer, journalist and poet with 30 books to his name, Jim Crumley is also in high demand as a contributor for TV and radio, as well as print media. Jim’s 2014 book, The Eagle’s Way, was shortlisted for a prestigious Saltire Society award, and his Encounters in the Wild series – which sees Jim get up close and personal with Britain’s favourite animals – has found him many new readers. He has also recently written about the return of the beaver to the UK’s wetlands in Nature’s Architect (Saraband, 2015) and chronicled a majestic and moody British autumn in The Nature of Autumn (Saraband, 2016).


“A passionate, compelling, very personal work… the honesty of his voice is striking.” Scottish Review of Books

“Jim Crumley soars with the eagles … virtuoso writing.” 
BBC Countryfile Magazine

“Enthralling and often strident.” Observer

“An astonishingly good writer. Not just an astonishingly good nature writer, but an outstanding artist with prose.” West Highland Free Press

“Jim Crumley is the pre-eminent Scottish nature writer.” Guardian

“The best nature writer working in Britain today.” Los Angeles Times