129: In Search of One Last Song with Patrick Galbraith

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Anyone who has any level of interest in wildlife is aware of the massive biodiversity crisis we are facing right now. Sometimes it is called a sixth mass extinction. Its symptoms can be seen not only in world-famous ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef or the Amazon rainforest but also in our woods and gardens. As sad as it sounds, we should not only help protect species in decline but also enjoy them while they are still around. And with how things are at the moment it’s anything but certain that they’ll survive to be enjoyed by future generations.

Patrick Galbraith in his latest book In Search of One Last Song documents his quest to experience the rare and disappearing birds of Britain. Because, as he said, if he waited for a few more years, he might not have a chance to see them or hear their song. On his journey, he visited people who work to protect them. The record of his conversations reveals a cultural divide between rural and urban, and between old and new, ways of life and the impact it has on ecosystems. As a result, along with the ecological picture, the book paints a diverse and complex cultural landscape.

As usual, during our conversation, I asked some questions about the process of writing the book. We also talked about people and events that didn’t make it into the pages. It is really well-written and, at times, beautifully poetic. After listening to our discussion, go ahead and buy the book using the provided links below. That way you will get a great book while supporting my podcast.


In this beautiful and thought-provoking blend of nature and travel writing Patrick Galbraith sets off across Britain on a journey that may well be his last chance to see some of our disappearing birds. Along the way, from Orkney to West Wales, from the wildest places to post-industrial towns, he meets a fascinatingly eclectic group of people who in very different ways are on the front line of conservation, tirelessly doing everything they can to save ten species teetering dangerously close to extinction.

Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

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