A trans-world journey with an extraorindary shorebird—from Australia's southern ocean to the Arctic and back—that explores the mysteries of the natural world and its power to heal.

As the sun lowered and turned Gulf St Vincent fiery, they each called a high-pitched 'peeooowiii!', flashed their black wing-pits, spread their tail skirts and took flight...

In a luminous new boook, Andrew Darby follows the odysseys of two seemingly-humble Grey Plovers, little-known migratory shorebirds, as they take previously uncharted ultramarathon flights from the southern coast of Australia to Arctic breeding grounds. On these death-defying flights they dodge predators, typhoons, exhaustion, and countless other dangers before they can breed...and then survive the jrouney all over again and return south to their feeding grounds. But the greatest threat to these, and other long-distance migrants on the flyway, is China's "dragon economy," which is engulfing their vital Yellow Sea staging spots.

In Flight Lines, we meet the dedicated people of all nationalities and backgrounds working to save these intrepid birds, from Russia to Alaska, from the rim of the Arctic Sea to the coasts of the Southern Ocean. Out of their hard-won science Darby finds hope for the birds—an unexpected bright light for our times.

But his journey to understand these marvellous birds almost ends when he is suddenly diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Then he finds science coming to his rescue too, as his own story and the journey of these little birds intersect in an unexpected and beautiful way.

Andrew Darby is the author of Harpoon: Into the heart of whaling, and former for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.