Saturday, 8 September 2012

Red Knot

A flying visit through town on a lovely calm, hot and sunny afternoon gave me the opportunity to check the harbour as the tide dropped. Not much change on the wader front although 14 Red Knot included a beautiful summer plumaged bird amongst the 1st winters. Also here was a single Bar-tailed Godwit, a couple of Dunlin and a few more Oystercatcher.

I didn't have time to check the place thoroughly so I'm sure other birds would have dropped in, still there's always something to look at, even if it's only the weird and wonderful pedestrians passing by. I had one old guy the other day who walked along, took one look at my scope and said "well... that looks like a real lens". Having explained that it was, and a telescope at that - not a photographic one -  he did not reply but proceeded to stand staring at me from about 3 metres away for a minute, grunted and turned on his heel to continue towards town. I felt like he had seen a rare vagrant that had left him speechless (I wish). Before any of you ask, my beard is now more designer stubble than Old Testament - having snagged in my binoculars on a few too many occasions and I was smartly dressed in the usual Craghoppers green. I always find it interesting/disturbing how people react to me (and my scope)... usually a mixture of bemusement, wonder, pity, suspicion and awe...

So, have you - dear anonymous reader - had any particularly memorable encounters with the public when out bird spotting? Please keep the anecdotes tasteful as I don't want to lower the tone of this blog any more than the depths it has already reached; I am thinking tern wardens in particular - some of the tales they tell make even me blush!

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