The story of this book is a fictionalised account of real events that took place shortly after WW2. The main characters are birds – little ringed plovers – rare in Britain at the time. For whatever reason several pairs decide to nest in gravel pits in Middlesex. Much of the book is taken up with their attempts to rear their young against many odds. There are vivid descriptions of the lives of birds, insects, animals and even weeds – life and, often, death on the margins of human and natural worlds.
The main human character is a young man, recovering from TB, who is also a keen birdwatcher. He takes it on himself, using determination and trickery, to protect one l.r.p. nest from a determined egg collector.
The story is exciting in places, particularly at the end, and the paragraphs on the wildlife are fascinating and sometimes poetic.
First Edition hard cover , Slight peeling on dust jacket, Dated 1962