Subtitled 'A Season with Geese' this is a beautifully written account of watching and learning about the various species of wild geese that winter in the UK. The book mostly centres on Dumfries and Galloway, in the south-west of Scotland, an area which Crafty Green Boyfriend and I have visited many times and in fact we have seen many geese while we've been there!
Rutt's book devotes a chapter to each of the main geese found in the UK - pink footed, barnacle, greylag, brent, white fronted and bean. Each chapter outlines the author's encounters with the particular species, along with notes on how to recognise it and an account of the human history with the species (usually through hunting).
The book is closely observed, paying attention to the weather and to the wider environment, as well as to the birds themselves.
"The geese come first as sound. We turn a corner and a muddy channel opens up between two patches of marsh that had earlier appeared seamlessly as one. The wind picks up their calls and the noise drifts over us."
Sadly there has recently been an outbreak of avian flu among the geese at the Mersehead bird reserve in Dumfries and Galloway. You can find out more and donate to the emergency appeal of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) here.