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New book by GP-turned ornithologist charts the history and birdlife of WW2 military camp

PUBLISHED: 15:57 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:15 07 July 2018

Former Sheringham GP Moss Taylor, whose latest book charts the history and birdlife of Weybourne Camp
Photo: CHRIS TAYLOR

Former Sheringham GP Moss Taylor, whose latest book charts the history and birdlife of Weybourne Camp Photo: CHRIS TAYLOR

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A new book by a Norfolk GP-turned ornithologist charts the history and birdlife of Second World War anti-aircraft artillery range Weybourne Camp.

Pallas's warbler and goldcrest photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor
Photo: MOSS TAYLORPallas's warbler and goldcrest photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor Photo: MOSS TAYLOR

Moss Taylor, who carved a successful second career as a nature writer after retiring from Sheringham Medical Practice in 1994, has published seven books on birds, as well as an autobiography charting his career as a hospital doctor and GP.

A former secretary and treasurer of the British Trust for Ornithology, Mr Taylor, 74, has also written around 5,000 ‘In the Countryside’ columns for the Easter Daily Press, as well as setting up his own publishing company and contributing to a number of specialist bird magazines.

Stonechat photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor
Photo: MOSS TAYLORStonechat photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor Photo: MOSS TAYLOR

Entitled Wings Over Weybourne, his latest title was inspired by the 289 bird species recorded at the site since he first visited when he took a job as a GP at Sheringham in 1972.

Nearly 24,000 birds of 188 species have been ringed on the 300 acre camp, which is now home to the Muckleburgh Collection military museum.

A tawny pipit photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor
Photo: MOSS TAYLORA tawny pipit photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor Photo: MOSS TAYLOR

“This has resulted in recoveries of threatened species, both in Britain and abroad,” Mr Taylor said.

“When you ring birds, they are given a unique number, which means we can track their movements in any part of the world.”

Former Sheringham GP Moss Taylor, whose latest book charts the history and birdlife of Weybourne Camp
Photo: MOSS TAYLORFormer Sheringham GP Moss Taylor, whose latest book charts the history and birdlife of Weybourne Camp Photo: MOSS TAYLOR

Because Weybourne has been an important site for the study of migration, Mr Taylor decided to begin writing his book two years ago.

“Migration has been my main interest and after I stopped ringing birds after 55 years, I thought it was a good time to sit down and write about it,” he explained.

Swallow nestlings photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor
Photo: MOSS TAYLORSwallow nestlings photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor Photo: MOSS TAYLOR

The book, which opens with a chapter by Muckleburgh Collection owner Sir Michael Savory, features nearly 40 of Mr Taylor’s own photographs and includes information on the large variety of birds recorded on the camp and nearby Muckleburgh Hill.

Proceeds will go to the charity Love For Leo, which, since being founded by Mr Taylor three years ago in honour of his grandson, who has cerebral palsy, has raised more than £18,000 for equipment and treatment for children in Norfolk and Suffolk with the condition.

Yellow-browed warbler photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor
Photo: MOSS TAYLORYellow-browed warbler photographed at Weybourne Camp by Moss Taylor Photo: MOSS TAYLOR

Wings Over Weybourne (priced £15) is available from the Muckleburgh Collection shop, or by phoning 01263 823637.


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