Many hours were spent walking very slowly beside hedges, peering between the leaves in hope of finding a new nest. There were other places to search too - the margins of the farm ponds, in old buildings and even on the ground among the tussocks of rough grass. Sometimes I found a nest quite by chance while searching for a cricket ball that some schoolfriend had hit into the bushes.
When you got the egg home, if it didn't break in your pocket on the way, you had to make a small hole in either end with a needle then carefully blow the contents out. It sounds akin to murder to me now but that's what we did.
It was all many years ago, of course. Half a century ago I would guess since inside the cover it says that it was a birthday gift from my brother, and the fact that the message is in my mother's handwriting means that my brother must have been too young to have written it himself. Lets have a quick peep inside the book.
Top left I can see the egg of a Yellowhammer, or Yellow Bunting as we were supposed to call it at the time. Does anyone say Yellow Bunting any more? Or how about Hedge Accentor for the Dunnock? I remember my Yellowhammer's egg with its eccentric scribbly markings. Of course the eggs I really wanted to find were the sort shown below. Not much chance of finding any Puffin's eggs in rural Cambridgeshire. But that didn't stop me from looking!