By Moss Taylor

Wren Publishing, 2020

Pbk, 179pp; 154 photographs and illustrations

ISBN 978-0-9542545-8-2; £18.00

The history of British birdwatching, aka birding, is well documented but not every author has caught its changing recent scenes as acutely as Moss Taylor does in this autobiography. His many tales and broad harvest of photographs illustrate the developments in observer types and behaviours since the late 1940s very well. I particularly enjoyed his mentions of no less than 62 of my own mentors and field chums. So while the accounts of his own field studies have (enviably) an increasing Norfolk bias, the book’s full horizon is wide and its prompts to reader memories will be numerous.

Drawing on seven decades of field, ringing and publishing effort, and mixing local patchwork with world travels – and one horrendous oceanic cruise – Moss’s 16 chapters and epilogue both inform and entertain. They also demonstrate how much we owe to those special birders who manage to combine several caring roles in one life. The author is clearly one such person. So do buy this book and appreciate its values.

Two last asides. About Moss’s confessed heavy dependence on jizz for ID, all I can write is ‘Me too, mate!’. Finally, I feel it right to note that any profits from this book will assist children who suffer from cerebral palsy.

D. I. M. Wallace

Issue 2
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