Of late i have become much more interested in birds, but i read this book in 2009 whilst doing wildlife research in Namibia and at that stage, i was far more casual about it! i wasn't as ignorant as the author, but would fall at the feet in awe at duncton! but this book is a great read for anyone who is new to the game or is a hardened spotter. If you're a newbie then he is accessible and genuine - you are completely convinced that this chap is entirely normal and thus it is ok to go birdwatching! His style is informal and without the least pretension and detailed without being fussy.
yet this is a book that every expert should read. Up and down the country there will be hides with a group of pros sitting together and in the corner there will be someone who is completely clueless - possibly wearing yellow trainers jeans and a red shirt. That person will almost certainly be feeling what the author does so experts out there: read and understand! Birdwatching is a massively confusing world to many and Alex's narration highlights this brilliantly. So if you read this book as an expert, one day you will be in that hide and the yellow trainers will walk in and you can be on hand to sort out the pochards from the wigeon and the tuftys from the goldeneyes!
This book won't teach you about all the birds in the uk and it doesn't provide much science; instead it gives a beginners guide to what life is like as a birder! It's a great read anywhere, but it makes especially good travel material!