Looking for a starting point
Greetings all, a new member here and one out to learn to draw from scratch! I'm a (still learning) hobbyist photographer with a specific interest in general wildlife, animals, insects and nature photography and I've come to want to be able to make either record or more artistic renditions of my photos in other mediums - currently with a specific lean toward sketching.
My current skill level is not much more than a chimp would achieve with a pencil and paper; sadly drawing is something that I've never really pushed myself at in the past nor something that I have ever had any basic training in (at school if you were good the teachers fawned over you - if you were bad they kept finding things for you to do till you got to GCSEs and they preyed you didn't take art as an option).
The general medium and area that I would like to begin with is basic sketching/pencil drawing with a specific lean toward wildlife/pets. People hold less interest for me, so whilst I respect the skills learnt and the fact that I will end up drawing people (most likely) at some point its toward animal subjects that my main interest is at at present.
So without further ado do any here have any advice for a good starting point for a very clean slate to learn from. Ideally some book references that I can get hold of that would give me some basic grounding skills and starting points as well as any advice on tools/set up that would aid me at this stage (ie what pencils, paper etc to start with).
I have had a look around the site and around Google and the more I search the more I get a little more lost - information overload has well set in as well as a general lack of understanding making it hard to impossible to filter the results to pick out the best advice from the general, the mundane and the inaccurate.