The Birdwatcher’s Wife Arrives!

The cover design is by David Regan, using the original watercolor of avocets by Deborah K. Ahern.

It is with great pleasure—and huge relief—to announce the release of the The Birdwatcher’s Wife!

After a year of birdwatching with Ralph across France in 2019, followed by a year and a half of writing (aka editing!), my “baby” is now out in the world—in paperback on Amazon. The e-reader will come along shortly, as will the version that bookstores can order from industry catalogues.

To bring you up to speed on the story, here’s the blurb on the back jacket:

“Living la belle vie in Provence is a dream come true for American expats Gayle and Ralph. But their mellow world is disrupted when passionate birdwatcher Ralph suggests a year-long quest to find 200 bird species in France. They’ll crisscross the country, from the Mediterranean to the English Channel, the Pyrenees to the Alps.

Though the eat-preen-love lifecycle of birds does not fascinate Gayle, an off-the-beaten-track adventure does. New hilltop villages, vibrant outdoor markets, and gastronomical delicacies await! Aware the mission is powered by passion and protective of their relationship, she insists that Ralph go slow and savor the experience. He agrees … but is it a promise he can keep?

Heart-pounding alpine roads, mosquito-ridden marshes, and Mother Nature’s furious forces stand in the way. But France’s natural beauty, captivating culture, and astounding birdlife lead the way … to discoveries that surprise them both.”

Ralph’s tools of the trade: binoculars, Collins Bird Guide, and bird list.

I won’t tell you here about the surprising discoveries we made, but I will tell you that people can evolve—even in ways they never thought possible. And joie de vivre plays a big role—after all, it is la belle France!

As I wrote in the Acknowledgments section of the book, heaps of heartfelt thanks go out to a myriad of seasoned professionals, treasured amis, and loved ones who helped me shape this story. I never, ever, could have finished the book without them. But most of all, I am enormously grateful to Ralph and his fascination with birds.  

You can find the book here:

And if you do get a chance to read the story of our French birding adventure, I so hope you find it engaging … and perhaps inspiring too. Maybe in ways that surprise you.

Happy reading!

Bises, Gayle


Over the moon the book has finally reached the light of day! My new photo is by Ashley Tinker (

6 thoughts on “The Birdwatcher’s Wife Arrives!

  1. Dear Gayle,

    Huge congratulations to you and Ralph. It’s been a massive project. I look forward to purchasing it when it is available as an e-book – so please let me know when it’s available.

    Very best wishes,

    Jeanette Gatenby


  2. I’m definitely reading this! I remember you guys from our USAREUR days and look forward to reading about your LA vie en France days.


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