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Have you ever wondered what 'our' birds get up to when they're not pinching our peanuts, pilfering our pyracantha berries or nesting under the eaves of our homes? The One Show's natural history star Mike Dilger tells us the answers in Nightingales in November.
This brilliant almanac tells the very different personal and annual stories of twelve well-known birds we deign to call 'British'. Through a lyrical narrative, Nightingales in November showcases amazing avian facts gleaned over decades by birdwatchers, ringers, nest recorders and migration recorders. The perfect 'dip-into' book, any enquiring naturalist will be able to find out such facts as where British-breeding swallows spend Christmas Day, when to look out for juvenile tawny owls, or when is the best date in the calendar to listen out for nightingales.
By using a combination of cutting-edge satellite technology and millions of ringing records, Nightingales in November reveals the mysteries of migration, tracking the regular movements of, for example, cuckoos for the eight months they're not in the UK, or divulging why not all robins are the 'stay-at-home' territorial types we once imagined.
Illustrated throughout by Darren Woodhead, the birds featured include a rich mix of resident birds, summer visitors, winter visitors and passage migrants. Nightingales in November is a great read for anyone with a fondness for British birds.
Mike Dilger is one of wildlife TVs best-known presenters, in his role as resident wildlife reporter on BBC One's primetime current affairs show, The One Show, since 2007. As well as being an experienced TV presenter, Mike has travelled widely in South America and Southeast Asia on ecological expeditions, sometimes in front of the camera, sometimes behind. He's also game: he held (briefly) the Guinness World Record for 'The most snails on the face in one minute' (37), which was set on live TV, and having spent many years overseas in remote places he picked up the tag of 'Britain's most diseased man', having caught malaria, bilharzia and leishmaniasis.
"[...] Whether it is the stay-at-home Blue Tit, or the long-distance travelling Cuckoo, this book has something for everyone."
– Paul Stancliffe, BTO book reviews
"Seldom less than fascinating [...] an exhaustively informative work"
– Times Literary Supplement
"Lively and engaging [...] a fascinating insight into the lives of birds"
– Rare Bird Alert
"One of the many pleasures of Nightingales in November is that it constantly reminds you just how extraordinary birds are – even the ones we take for granted. Ever since I finished reading it I've been walking around with my head tilted back and my mouth hanging open. Hardly a flattering look, I know, but in my body language as least it's meant as the highest form of praise."
– Daily Mail