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About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784871147
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

The Running Sky (The Birds and the Bees)

A Bird-Watching Life

Formats & editions

The Birds and the Bees series from Vintage Classics - beautiful editions of the finest British nature writing

The Birds and the Bees series was designed for Vintage Classics by Timorous Beasties, the Scottish studio famous for their designs inspired by the natural world

Beginning in summer with clouds of breeding seabirds in Shetland and ending with nightjars like giant moths in the heart of England, Tim Dee maps his encounters with birds over four decades of tracking them around the world. He tells of familiar but near-global birds like sparrows, starlings and ravens, and exotic species, like electrically coloured hummingbirds in California and bee-eaters in Africa. Dee restores us to the primacy of looking, and takes us outside, again and again, to marvel at what is flying above us.

  • Pub date: 3 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784871147
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Tim Dee

Tim Dee is a BBC radio producer making upwards of thirty programmes a year. His first book, The Running Sky, was published by Cape in 2009 and described his first five birdwatching decades. His latest book, Four Fields, described more deeply his ideas of the pastoral. He collaborated with the poet Simon Armitage on the anthology The Poetry of Birds.

Also by Tim Dee

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Praise for The Running Sky (The Birds and the Bees)

“The Running Sky has the makings of a classic. It's beautifully written, extraordinarily vigilant, and very moving. Most remarkable of all, it manages to give a sense of the bird world as being something which embraces and contains our own - which means that, as we read it, we learn a lot about ourselves as well as the fellow creatures flying through, over and around our own lives”

Andrew Motion

“Lyrical...sure to become a genuine addition to the literature of birds”

Daily Express

“What makes his book wonderful is his passion... He captures the thrill and puzzlement of watching birds as I have never previously seen it captured”

Sunday Herald

“Its author has a forensic eye for detail and a gift for poetry...an intimate and erudite account... he is in the front rank of contributors to the literature of natural history”

Daily Telegraph

“Serious and playful...creates a powerful and intensely poetic paean to what others have called the wonder of birds”


“Thrillingly original memoir ... extraordinary”

Lynn Barber, The Sunday Times

“A beautifully haunting and involving memoir. The writer's passion for birds becomes his way of expressing his whole relationship to landscape and history and family: unsentimental and urgently contemporary”

Tessa Hadley

“The best 'new age' nature book this year”

Peter Marren, Independent

“Dee's extraordinary, beautifully written account of a life spent watching birds is a fine addition to the flourishing genre of British nature writing”

Christopher Hart, The Sunday Times

“In a class of its own ... a chastening as well as an enchanting book”

Andrew Motion, Guardian

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