Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

politeness and customs and meeting other folk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Wednesday 22nd April 2009, 12:46   #1
selkie
Registered User
 
selkie's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alpes maritimes, France
Posts: 265
politeness and customs and meeting other folk

The other day I was out at the Var Estuary bird sanctuary near Nice Airport After I'd been there for a while and filled a memory card with photos I'd taken a break and gone for coffee. On the way back I noticed a 3 other people had arrived and had spotting scopes set up but they were very intently and loudly discussing something between themselves

I walked about 25 feet away from them along the path and saw an amazing black backed night heron perched in a tree . I had seen one earlier in the day across the river but this was on the same bank and pretty close.

I wondered if I should say anything to the folk about the night heron but they were still discussing things loudly and i didn't want to but in. I also had forgotten to bring a book so I wasn't sure what i'd seen except that it was fabulous, heron-ish and new to me.

I suppose maybe they have seen hundreds of night herons and they might have been looking at something specific -though they did seem to have their scopes pointed at some cormorants .

So, should I have mentioned the night heron and the other birds i saw - is it polite to share or does everyone fend for themselves ?
Do people get annoyed by newbies who don't know what they have seen?
alison
selkie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd April 2009, 14:45   #2
Enji
Registered User
 
Enji's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Posts: 816
Blog Entries: 6
Personally, I find it polite to share, but I know a few people like to find birds for themselves. It's impossible to know, however, and my experience is that 90% of all birders are happy when you tell them about a bird. I know I am!

I HATE people who get annoyed with newbies. I've been birding for maybe 1 year now, so I know some things but there's a lot I don't know, so I've experienced both having to ask others and sometimes teaching others stuff. I know how disheartening it is to ask something and get sneered at or mocked with a "don't you know that?" so I always do my best being enthusiastic when people ask me stuff. I'm always happy to tell people that the bird they're seeing is a Lapwing or whatever, it doesn't have to be a rare bird.
__________________
Latest lifer: Neotropic Cormorant (Florida, USA, 8 Januari 2015)
Enji is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 14:27   #3
selkie
Registered User
 
selkie's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alpes maritimes, France
Posts: 265
Thanks for replying, Enji
I'll probably mention what i've seen next time [and definitely take a book with me to help identify stuff]

alison
selkie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 15:06   #4
carlj
Registered User
 
carlj's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: stoke on trent
Posts: 826
There's also the close rank brigade. Met a trio of 'don't come near I saw it first' photographers who crowded out views of a nightingale.
carlj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 18:57   #5
Gill Osborne
Registered User
 
Gill Osborne's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Alnwick
Posts: 6,539
I've been birding 27 years now (where has the time gone?) but still get mixed up with some birds I was at a local wetland site about three weeks ago where a pair of Garganey had been seen and whilst we waited...and waited...for the birds to show (they didn't! ) I chatted away to a few other BF members that I know.
Well, a funny looking small bird flew by and landed in an elder shrub and I just could nt work out what it was so I asked the others what they thought. It was a male Linnet *whoops* Albeit a funny-coloured male but a linnet nonetheless
Once I would have died of shame if I'd made a mistake like that but now...hell, I don't care!!! We all make mistakes and anyone who says they don't is telling porkies

Personally I'm always pleased if somebody points something out to me. It's often a good ice breaker and most birders, once you get chatting to them, are more than happy to share their knowledge/sightings etc Mind you, I HAVE had my share over the years of ones who seem to look down on me because I'm a female (they'll often chat away to my husband who is not a birder and completely ignore me!) or will smirk at my taking delight in watching something that is really common like a moorhen or lapwing etc.
Gill Osborne is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 19:07   #6
Gill Osborne
Registered User
 
Gill Osborne's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Alnwick
Posts: 6,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlj View Post
There's also the close rank brigade. Met a trio of 'don't come near I saw it first' photographers who crowded out views of a nightingale.
Or the one who told me off because I had seen a report of a Little Egret on BF at a reserve just 20 minutes from where I live and popped along to see it. The fact is, I work six days a week and often only have 2 or 3 hours from finishing work at 1pm until my husband gets up for nightshift at 4pm so my birding time is precious. AND I had always wanted to see a little egret and had twice missed out on ones in Northumberland over the previous 12 months so to have one turn up close to home was a godsend. And it WAS as gorgeous as they look in books and magazines Yet the day and the experience was ruined for me because of this person's rather nasty attitude towards me. He made me feel about an inch high and as though I had done something wrong
I was going through a very stressful point in my life at the time and birding was my only chance to relax so to have this arrogant idiot be so nasty to me really dented my confidence and it was a few weeks before I was happy to talk to other birders.....silly I know but it just knocked my confidence something rotten

Yes, there ARE some arrogant pigs out there who seem to have forgotten what it's like to be new to birding but hey, it's their loss not ours!
Gill Osborne is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 26th April 2009, 20:14   #7
johnnybike
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Leeds
Posts: 118
I am always happy for people in hides to discuss what they are seeing and I am also quick to ask if I don't know.

I struggle to identify from a book at the time and prefer to take a photograph and work it out when I get home

Got a reed bunting today and would not have known what it was unless some one had not named it.
johnnybike is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 1st May 2009, 17:51   #8
mikfoz
It's not a competition. Watch the birdy!
 
mikfoz's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Blackpool
Posts: 1,417
Blog Entries: 3
Ah just be friendly yourself and if others are surly that's their problem.

As far as I'm concerned, nature reserves are for everyone. It's annoying when some noisy person just being curious bashes into a hide and loudly halloos and asks if I've seen any ducks but if I'm abrasive and awful to that person they'll conclude that birdwatchers are rude assholes and not develop an interest. If I say, "Not just ducks but Tufted Ducks, Mallard, Teal, Great Crested Grebe catching fish and even a Heron just over there. If you're quiet he'll stay put and might catch something, come and have a look," just maybe the person might be interested and catch the bug. Sometimes the other person will shrug and move on, but so wwhat, nobody died.

So long as people respect the necessary boundaries of the reserve and protect the wildlife, life's too short to get uptight. People who try to tribalise birding and make it their own really need to loosen up and take their time a bit more.
__________________
Marton Mere is not the same place as Martin Mere - My bird pics on Flickr.

Regards, Mike.
mikfoz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 1st May 2009, 18:25   #9
selkie
Registered User
 
selkie's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alpes maritimes, France
Posts: 265
Gill - thanks for sharing your experiences . I think there can be an assumption that men are interested in birds [and photography] and women aren't.

johnnybike - congratulations on the reed bunting. I like to take photos and identify at home too. I've also discovered that if i take a few shots in the general direction of the bird song can sometimes see enough of the bird to identify it when i get home.

Mike- i think you are right about encouraging people -its much better to spark some interest rather than make someone feel embarrassed and small.

The welcoming rather than intimidating attitude to newbies is definitely one of the best things about this forum. There are a lot of forums where someone asking a beginner question would get derisions and ridicule

Yesterday - i went back to the reserve and pointed out some black winged stilts cormorants and a grey heron , and talked about the night heron I saw last time to a couple of people.

I had assumed that folk with really expensive spotting scopes would be knowledgeable and experienced but that turned out not to be the case yesterday., They would have seen the cormorants and heron when they walked down the path a bit but they hadn't noticed the stilts at all and were about to leave -so that was my good deed for the day and i got to look at the birds I pointed out through the Nikon scope =]

alison
selkie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 1st May 2009, 20:44   #10
Enji
Registered User
 
Enji's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Posts: 816
Blog Entries: 6
No, expensive spotting scopes is certainly not an indicator of expert birders, and neither is expensive cameras. Of course, many really good birders have those, but some seem content walking around with the same old scope they got when they started birding some time in the 70's.

Gill, that seems like a really silly person with nothing better to do than have stupid opinions about other people. Really, does it matter if someone told you about the bird? I got to see a Stonechat last Monday because I read about it on the report system here. Would I have seen it otherwise? No. Did I enjoy the bird any less because I didn't find it myself? No. It was still just as pretty and wonderful to see. (I might add that Stonechat is a rarity where I live, there might be one or maybe two each year here.)

I'm glad I haven't met that many stuck-up and surly birders, most I've met have been very nice... although, as a rather young woman (well, I'm 27, but sometimes it seems like everyone else birding is much older...) I'm getting a bit tired of older men being what they think is nice but mainly coming across as rather condescending. ("Oh you saw the Little Gull? That's so good of you! You're so good at this!" and so on... ) Things they would never say to a guy... but I digress.

Psst, selkie... I'm really jealous of you getting Black-winged Stilts and Night Herons... I so want to see those species some day! :)
__________________
Latest lifer: Neotropic Cormorant (Florida, USA, 8 Januari 2015)
Enji is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 1st May 2009, 21:50   #11
Gill Osborne
Registered User
 
Gill Osborne's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Alnwick
Posts: 6,539
I'm seriously jealous of those Stints and Night Herons too!!! I saw Night Herons many years ago when Edinburgh Zoo had a free-flying flock but they weren't genuine wild birds as they had supplementary feeding. I don't think they are there now so I guess I'll just have to save the pennies and get myself off to where they DO live in the wild and see them in their natural habitat

I just ignore what folks think of me nowadays as being outdoors makes me happy and relaxed and I'm forever telling folks to try it This week I've been attempting to teach one of my customers the difference between swallows, martins and swifts but she really does not 'get it' I think I'm going to have to draw her some diagrams or, give it a week or two, and drag her outside the shop and point the three main species out as they fly around above us
Gill Osborne is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 2nd May 2009, 03:23   #12
Rose Fletcher
Rose from Australia - formerly Birdeye
 
Rose Fletcher's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Goolwa, South Australia
Posts: 26,098
One of the nicest things about birding is the occasional contact with other people who love birds. The surly types are few and far between, but yes, some people will be unpleasant to you for telling them about a bird, as if they imagine you have one up on them and are showing off. They'll usually head straight for the bird you tell them about though, as soon as they have you squirming.

I always speak to people, especially if I believe I know something they may not - but occasionally, I get a less than friendly response. Just shrug it off and count your blessings for all the friendly people you'll meet - they far outnumber the grouches, and you won't meet them if you hold back because of the grouches. I've had some brilliant tips from people I've chance met, and what a joy it is when a new birder comes along asking questions, and you can share things you've learned.

Happy birding!
__________________
Rose
Rose Fletcher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 2nd May 2009, 13:27   #13
wmtlynx
Steven Peters

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 95
In my experience of birding (about 20 years of strong interest and little time, and about 6 months of doing it seriously), I have chatted to some great people. Many are glad to share their knowledge and experience, and most importantly, they are often very encouraging. Speaking to someone who has worth of equipment and I've been pleased when they look at my compact camera and tell me I can still get some fantastic photographs, and that the most important thing is patience and being close to the birds. It's great when someone with a lot more to give to the hobby with their fancy equipment makes you feel included.

I've recently started to film short clips (not BBC quality but ok for me) as this gives me the best value for money for the results I get. 200 bought me a Panasonic hard-drive camcorder which enables me to zoom in up to 42x optical, far closer than the most expensive compact still camera, with the added bonus of the birds turning around, flapping about, singing, flying and showing all their distinct markings. So for me, it is better for identifying later on and a whole lot cheaper and easier than trying to get a bird to sit still, pose and say cheese!
wmtlynx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gibraltar customs queues? dogfish Information Wanted 6 Saturday 19th July 2008 18:42
Local customs or something more sinister? ikw101 Birds Of Prey 6 Friday 23rd March 2007 18:26
Old Customs vs. newer jacquot Bushnell - Bausch & Lomb 0 Thursday 13th October 2005 23:32
Old Bushnell Customs, crazy low price Robert Ellis Bushnell - Bausch & Lomb 0 Monday 8th August 2005 21:49
UK Customs and Excise Charges on Bins from USA. alan_rymer Binoculars 9 Tuesday 6th January 2004 15:00

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.29586411 seconds with 27 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 04:03.