Most people know Bill Bailey for his amazing performances where he expertly mixes comedy and music with a large dollop of zaniness, or his appearances on various panel games. What most people don’t know is that he loves all things about the natural world and is a massive fan of birds in particular. For this book, he has taken 51 of his favourite birds, from the generally unloved pigeons and herring gulls to the tiny wrens, deadly peregrines and the cheeky corvid family. Each of the mini-chapters on birds has facts and details of where to find them or in the case of the bittern, where you can go and look and generally fail to see them.
There is not a vast amount of prose in the book, but what there is, is written with Bailey’s impish humour, amusing anecdotes and razor sharp wit. The design of the book makes it feel that you are reading a notebook full of jottings and his own charming sketches. Not necessarily a book for experts, but perfect for someone who is teetering on the edge of discovering the delights of the natural world.