A new nightlife in Orkney

Amy Liptrot was born in Orkney and has recently returned there, to be corncrake officer for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. While the friends she used to get drunk with in London are still out at weekends giggling over the tweets on their mobiles, she’s following maps in the mist, hoping to hear the call (“like a credit card scraped over a comb”) of one of our most elusive birds. Her fate and that of the corncrake, she writes in Aeon Magazine, seem to be intertwined: she clings on to sobriety while it clings on to existence.

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