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RSPB Staff and Members

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Old Wednesday 5th April 2017, 08:08   #1
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RSPB Staff and Members

The last couple of weeks I have had two encounters with RSPB staff and members that left a negative impression on me.
This is nothing to do with the RSPB as an organisation, who I fully support and have on occasion done voluntary work with.

I am, of course, not going to name specific reserves I had these encounters on, but they were both in the south east.

Arguably, I am on slightly sticky ground for my first gripe. Actually, no, sod it - I'm not!
It was with an RSPB member of staff. I'd turned in to the main reserve and on the drive along the gravel track I stopped my car so I could get out, walk along one of the marked footpaths, so I could check an area where lizards and reptiles can often be found. As I walked back to my car, just about to get in, a member of staff pulled up and said I wasn't allowed to stop there and wasn't allowed to walk in reverse along the nature trail!
I was polite and apologetic and pointed out that I was neither blocking the very wide trackway, was on an established trail, and there were no signs saying I could not do either of the things she mentioned.
It wasn't the points she was making that I object to (foundless though I think they were - can't walk in the reverse direction down the trail for God's sake!). What REALLY grated me, and I bit my tongue at the time, was the officious and pompous tone to her voice.

The second unfortunate encounter was on a completely different nature reserve (not an RSPB one I hasten to add).
Whilst walking around I saw a small group of people looking across an estuary and as I got to them I asked what it was they had spotted. All innocent and friendly enough. One of the group even said I could look through his scope to have a look. Very kind and generous.
Then one of the group asked me, 'what are you using?' I didn't really want to have that kind of conversation so I said, 'just a pair of binoculars'. They were hanging around my neck as anyone could see.
No, he was only interested in what brand they were and how much they cost. He even leaned over to look, tilting my binoculars so he could see what make they were. I didn't feel my space was being invaded and he was affable and gentle enough about it.
But then the whole group decided to have a conversation about what binoculars/scopes people were using and how much they cost and what's best.
What a bunch of tits.
What they were looking at was NEVER even mentioned, least of all what they were there for.
I tried to change the conversation, which is how I found out they were a group from the local RSPB on a day outing.
What a sodding embarrassment they were. To themselves, to the RSPB and to nature enthusiasts.
If that's the kind of conversations they have when in groups then I am pleased that I always make my outdoors trips solo adventures. It saddens me that people with the same interests as me are socially inept fools.

I love the RSPB and the work they do, but their staff and members really are a poor advertisement. Get a grip.

Sorry for the rant, but it's been annoying me for the past few days now. That's it, it's now gone!
Kestrels -
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Old Wednesday 5th April 2017, 08:23   #2
Simon Wates
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Lighten up my friend, there will always be something to get your gripe if you are taking some things too seriously. The ability to let go is an investment for you, keep it up, you'll see
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Old Wednesday 5th April 2017, 13:56   #3
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When the opposite happens & you get treated really well will you post on here to say so? I doubt it.
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Old Friday 5th May 2017, 17:13   #4
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Originally Posted by snlw View Post
When the opposite happens & you get treated really well will you post on here to say so? I doubt it.
Comes across as a bit harsh that, he said he needed a rant and has let it go.
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Old Friday 5th May 2017, 18:41   #5
John Cantelo
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I think your first gripe may have some substance but the second ..... really? Is that it? Birders have always been curious about optics and by your own account, it seems that if anyone was being a bit stuffy it was yourself. When all said and done they were being friendly and offering you a look through a 'scope and your response somewhat ungracious in the circumstances. Lighten up as Simon suggests.

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Old Friday 12th May 2017, 10:37   #6
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Following the second point, I thought it was going to finish with you being brutalised and robbed by a group of middle aged birders, what a let down.
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