Bathing a wounded badger in the kitchen sink, or allowing a rare pine marten the run of his bedroom, or having a wild tawny owl perched on his shoulder, cuddling up for warmth and nibbling his ear as he types his book - such are the events of domestic life for Mike Tomkies. For these and the giant Alsatian, Moobli, are usually his only companions when he returns from exhausting eagle treks into the harsh but spectacular country in his remote corner of the Scottish Highlands. Here Tomkies has spent the last twelve of his nineteen years in the wilderness, after giving up the life of an international journalist in order to resume his passion for studying nature at close quarters. His home is an old stone lochside cottage set between two small woods below a deep cleft in the mountains. There is no road, electricity, gas, telephone, TV or postal service, and the only access (other than an arduous mountain hike) is by boat up a long and often stormy loch, some forty miles from the nearest town.
Even if human company is rare for him, he enjoys an extraordinary empathy with the creatures of the wild. In this book he recounts his adventures with the animals and birds which he has looked after in his home, including four unforgettable foxes, all vixens which had suffered paw damage through being caught in gin traps. One of them became the mate of the dominant fox in the region, remaining with him for almost ten years and raising several litters in the wild. Even more remarkable were the injured owls, which Tomkies nursed back to health and fitness for survival in their natural environment. Two of them met and mated after their release, and came to the kitchen window to call the beautiful young owl orphan (abandoned by its parents in a Glasgow park) out into their world. The placid badger which withheld its ferocious bite while its awful neck injuries were tended also returned to its domain to find a mate in a sett nearby. Most engaging of all were the pine martens, which still today race round the cottage fearlessly and come to feed from a human hand.
'Out of the Wild' is more than a sequel to Mike Tomkies's bestselling book 'A Last Wild Place', which chronicled the whole cycle of nature in his Highland fastness. It is a testament to the essential unity of life. It is the story of a man capable of communicating across barriers more difficult to bridge than any maintained by human beings amongst their own kind.