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Hide Etiquette (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I am new to this birding stuff so please excuse my ignorance. When entering a hide in which somebody is already established, what is proper etiquette? Do I ignore them (as I was ignored yesterday by a man with very posh green bins and scope and a flask of tea) or do I politely nod and half-smile to acknowledge their presence (as is my inclination). I am reluctant to speak and try to make as little disturbance as possible but don't want to create any "atmosphere".


Well-known member
I always enter quietly and acknowledge any fellow Birders with a pleasant greeting and smile, unfortunatley I am usally greeted the same way as you. It does seem to be a lot worse if you go to a new hide which has its own regulars brrrrrrh!! frosty.
So sad.


Well-known member
Have had very similar experiences, i usually see what the reaction is when i open the door, if they look round and smile or say hello, ill speak back, if they dont even bother to look round i just attack them with a machete (thats a joke by the way ;)) If they dont turn around or acknowledge me, i just sit down and keep to myself. Luckily most hides i go to on sites i know, have regulars, and we get on well, and often sit chatting, the birds dont seem to give a monkeys, and even kingfishers etc, carry on perfectly normally, so being uber quiet isnt usually necessary, apart from banging and crashing, and slamming the door on entry or leaving (pet hates, some people have no common sense at all)


Well-known member
a nod and a smile is my normal greeting. it's just good manners right? anything less is rude.

i think it's fine to take it further and have a brief chat about what's out there, how long have you been at it, that kind of thing. not everyones chatty though so some folks won't be keen on this.


Well-known member
Nothing to do with personal hygiene but courtesy. As I indicated, my inclination is the nod and half-smile which I will offer if I am in a hide when somebody else enters. I just wondered if there was an unwritten rule about which I was ignorant. Thanks to all especially Stu, Dave and Ian. Oh, and mints are essential............


Ich bin ein Vogelbeobachter
Mints really are great in a hide, sitting there for a while it's nice to have a sweet to suck.

I 'usually' acknowledge the other people in a hide with a smile and a nod, although there are times when I must admit I've been a grumpy one or have been rather zoned out enjoying the quiet that it's only when they've been and gone I realised that I didn't say hello.

Sometimes though you go out really needing some quiet time and feeling that you MUST observe strict social niceties with every person that blunders in and out of a hide makes the reason for being there moot. If someone doesn't want to talk or acknowledge me then that's fine, and if I sometimes do the same it's just that I want to be alone with my thoughts - it's nothing personal.

Some of the best times I've spent out have been when I've been with others seeing something amazing (Snow Buntings with my brother and another birder who was on the beach, watching seals and terns with a boatload of people and children)... but also very special are the times when I sat in a hide at Cley on my own, just the birds in the distance and the sound of the wind, no people around just chilling and watching the peaceful water.


Well-known member
It depends.
When I approach a hide and can hear laughter and talking inside, I usually join in cheerfully in the racket. Other times, when entering cautiously in a dead silent hide I greet people in an almost whispering voice. That way they know I won't disturb their peace, they also know I've got manners, and in case they ignore me I won't be offended because I can presume they didn't hear me at all.

That being said, I'll be tutoring a group of rank beginners - some 40 people - this Sunday,
and a visit to a big hide is scheduled. Best thing to do is to inform them in advance about some hide etiquettes and hope the talking won't be too loud, once inside.

Best regards,



Well-known member
I give a nod and a sort of smile usually, or a whispered hello or something similar. I find most people in hides generally friendly. The ones that don't acknowlege your entry are the ones thinking 'bugger off somewhere else will you'. Worse still are the individuals with those bins and scopes begining with S and ending with I. Bloody snobs!



Well-known member
Pah! It will take more than a mega expensive set of optics for birding to get me envious,[I lie]. Just wish some of the owners of such Rolls Royce gear would stop pretending they were expert birders and anyone else who hasn't got it knows sweet F A.



Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
It's the old addage - all the gear and no idea!!!

Best thing to do when entering a hide and you're totall blanked - let a real smelly bench-wobbler rip and watch 'em gag! Brilliant fun!


C'est pas ma faute, je suis anglais.
pardon me for being so continental, but what putain is a hide??? and what deux fois putain are 'other birders'????????????


homo sarkensis
I usually ask if it'd OK to bring the dog in... then apologise to whoever left their sandwiches in a bag on the floor.... I find this breaks the ice!
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