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The Falcon and the Lark

Part memoir, part natural history, a journey through Central Otago and encounters with New Zealand's magnificent native falcon.An evocative seasonal journal in which the author explores his roots in the rock-and-tussock country of Central Otago. He uncovers all; that is curious and distinctive there, in a rich blend of autobiography folklore and natural history. Along the way he meets up with a mystical free spirit - the Lark - and together they strike up an engaging friendship.Woven throughout the narrative is an intimate portrait of New Zealan's native falcon, karearea, 'the wildest thing in our skies'. Whether soaring, gliding or attacking, our swiftest bird of prey is sovererign of our skies and yet little known and understood.Neville Peat is one of New Zealand's finest writers, and in this delightful book combines his skill as an essayist and natural historian and his instincts and breadth of knowledge as a conservationist.
Neville Peat is an award-winning author and photographer of over 30 books, covering themes of geography, biography, natural history and the environment. His biographies include the bestselling Hurricane Tim: The Story of Sir Tim Wallis.In the late 1970s he spent two summers at Scott Base, New Zealand's Antarctica station on Ross Island, as a journalist and photographer, and has written five books on Antarctic themes. In 2007 he was awarded New Zealand's most valuable literary prize, the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers' Fellowship for a book about the Tasman Sea (The Tasman: Biography of an ocean). Wild Dunedin: Enjoying the natural history of New Zealand's wildlife capital (with Brian Patrick) won the 1996 Natural Heritage category of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and their Wild Fiordland was shortlisted in 1997.In 1994 he was named Dunedin Citizen of the Year, in acknowledgement of his books on the region and his work in establishing the Dunedin Environmental Business Network.He has served as a councillor and as deputy chair on the Otago Regional Council, and has chaired its Environment and Science Committee.Neville's other books include: Snow Dogs: The huskies of Antarctica; Detours; The Incredible Kiwi; Land Aspiring: The story of Mount Aspiring National Park; Coasting: The sea lion and the lark; Subantarctic New Zealand: A rare heritage; Antarctic Partners: 50 years of New Zealand and United States Cooperation in Antarctica, 1957-2007; High Country Lark; Seabird Genius: The Story of L. E. Richdale, the royal albatross and the yellow-eyed penguin and Shackleton's Whiskey. .Neville has undertaken commissioned work for Otago Museum, and his comprehensive report on the sub-Antarctic islands earned World Heritage Area status for five groups of the islands. Neville is a fifth-generation descendant of Scottish pioneers in Otago. He lives at Broad Bay, Otago Peninsula; the family home fittingly near populations of royal albatross, yellow-eyed penguin, New Zealand (Hooker's) sea lion and New Zealand fur seal, about which Neville has written many times. See by wild and remote environments, dynamic landscapes and unique fauna and flora, he has explored much of New Zealand and the South Pacific, from the far-flung tropical atolls of Tokelau, to the snow and ice of the Ross Dependency, Antarctica.Reviewing Shackleton's Whisky, which covers Shackleton's 1907 'heroic age' expedition to Antarctica, the discovery 100 years later of some of the expedition's Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky, and the subsequent replicating of that whisky by McKinlay's successor, Scottish distillery White & McKay, DScene wrote: 'Peat binds these multiple strands together cleverly, connecting the past to the present through his typically rigorous research.' While all seem to agree with the Oamaru Mail's assessment of Shackleton's Whisky as 'a cracking yarn', many reviewers have praised the underlying complexity of the story's varied components, and the way Peat brings them apparently effortlessly together.
Neville Peat
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