In 2006 Stephen Moss compiled "This Birding Life" which was a collection of his columns that had appeared in The Guardian since 1993, grouped into common themes. Its style was witty and informative.
For this new book Moss kept a diary throughout 2007. Based in Somerset he chronicled what he saw in the locations close to his home in Mark. A few trips elsewhere are included - such as the Cairngorms, North Norfolk Coast and Rutland Water (for the Bird Fair). The book is written in an easy style with informative anecdotes about everyday birds. Apart from the Christmas Cup (a BBC Natural History Unit bird race) the author rarely chases a rarity, other than unexpected local surprises such as a Great Grey Shrike. Mind you, like the rest of us, he'd have liked to have seen that Yellow-nosed Albatross that arrived in Somerset in June 2007!
Overall this is a really relaxing book that brings out the best in normal birding. And there is the challenge. All of us can keep a diary like this, noting the behaviour of typical birds. The difference is that few of us can communicate such observations in a way that captures the imagination of others. Ordinary birding has a lot to offer - and this book reminds you of that on every page.