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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Miserable Birders??? (2 Viewers)

The sniper

Well-known member
I have always thought of Birding and its Followers as a little bit odd,or at least some of the behaviour by some in this hobby,towards others.I first noticed it as a teenager when I walked into a bird hide,asked the chap who was sitting in there if he had seen anything,who replied "you've got binoculars,look for yourself".I wasn't actually asking him to tell me where anything was,simply merely being polite and friendly but that one experience actually wasted 10 years or so of my birding life as I was too annoyed/scared/pissed off to bother with hides/reserves after that,and apart from birding in my local park every now and then or looking out the garden,that was pretty much it for the next Ten years.
I started again in my mid Twenties,some 12/13 years back now but pretty low key,just visiting my local areas for a couple of years,getting myself familiar with the not so common birds etc,it was all going well until I got more involved in the hobby,ie reporting sightings,becoming a member of Local yahoo groups etc and I started noticing some poxy birdwatching hierarchy,where people who obviously know more than others actually look down at those who probably don't have the time to go out 24/7 or the experience they have,some like myself probably don't have the attention span or the intelligence that others seem to possess.I am not saying that every experienced birder is like this but it does seem to be the experienced birder who likes nothing more than to put someone down or put their point across so bluntly that you just know that they are the superior one.
Just recently a few things have happened which has once again questioned my involvement in this hobby,I haven't been out really for the last 3 weeks or so since this happened but while this has obviously annoyed me I guess the weather hasn't helped and I hope that the minute it picks up I will get my mojo back.But there's no doubt the actions/words of a few people recently have once again had an effect on me,which is quite odd as usually nothing bothers me and goes straight over my head.Basically I am fed up with the rudeness of some individuals,its not always towards me,in fact its usually towards other people who probably can't stick up for themselves so much,or simply don't want to,although I have had two instances of birders biting off my head recently,when I really didn't think it was necessary.It just rankles with me the way people treat other people.Dont get me wrong,most people I meet on my travels are genuine,cracking people,but some just get on my boobies with their attitude,I just guess I need to not worry so much about it,although I suspect the next bit of anti social birding behaviour I encounter may drive me over the edge and see me bite,which I really dont want to do,but I am obviously annoyed by this!!!!
Beware!!!
 
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Mark Lew1s

My real name is Mark Lewis
One problem with birding is that it is full of people - and just like in every hobby, office, team, etc, some of those people will be less pleasant than others. Another problem arises when those with a bit of knowledge feel more confident to make comments or put downs...but there are plenty of other unpleasant ones out there who recognise that they 'cant compete' so to speak, so they keep shtum.

I wouldn't let it get to you - it's a reflection on people rather than birding - and certainly not on the birds that you enjoy watching.
 

Eliter7

Well-known member
'The Sniper' I with you on this one, that generally birders are very helpful and friendly but not without more than a few rude ones. I tend to find those around reserves are often friendly but away from these i have found some people very 'protective' of their local patch and not wanting to share conversation or information. Before anyone jumps in i dont ever ask or seek breeding or sensitive info simply local info/chit chat as you might do anywhere. I bumped in to a well known lister/birder off the beaten track recently who i recognised purely from tv/web/forum posts and hoped he would engage in some friendly chat with an obviously less knowledgable soul but he didnt give me the time of day.
I did go through a phase where id twitch rarer birds within certain distance and generally found that experience quite un savoury. Being barged out of the way in the scramble to get a better view or a charging pack when a bird was relocated was something i never imagined but not at all uncommon in my experience. And I wont expand on the quite rediculous (and often dangerous) parking and being blocked in be people who simply didnt care for anything other than getting the tick. A shame really as it has put me off going for the really rare/good stuff especially if I have family with me. :-C
 

The sniper

Well-known member
I am sure I will get over it lol,just a rant that in all honesty I have probably been dying to get off my chest for 25 years or so!!!
Although I do find it odd that those who tend to be the most unpleasant,lets say,usually come across as nerdy types that in any other situation in life would probably back away from that sort of confrontation,usually if someone's going to "give it" (as we say in sunny Essex) you would expect them to at least have some presence about them lol

It just seems to me,that a hobby that should be so easy for everyone to get on with because of the one common denominator,birds,because of listing etc seems to descend into chaos at times
 

kelvin.dunford

Well-known member
Hi,sniper,Myself and wife used to go on various birdwatching tours,and have encountered people with the most arrogant attitude and put downs that we no longer go out with groups.I agree with what you say.I film wildlife in general and have had some quite nasty comments about''bloody photographers'',frightening birds away.When i point out that their loudness and arm waving is more annoying than me sat in a corner of a hide,quietly filming,sometimes shuts them up.Sometimes not for long!! Regards,kelvin.
 

f86sabjf

Well-known member
This is the reason I usually go birding alone or with only 1 or 2 people of my choosing. That being said we don't seem to have the "hide issue" over here in the states I seem to hear Europeans talking about. Lots of people seem to dislike them .
 

MSA

I may be relaxed but I'm not drunk....
I occasionally encounter visiting birders whilst I'm on my morning dog-walk, and it's quite noticeable that I get a different reaction to the one I get when I'm birding without the dogs - it's more a case of "humouring the duffer with the dogs" - initially at least ;)

Nothing to get annoyed about though - if they don't want to share, that's their loss!
 

Kentbloke

Ah, yes, well
We're mostly a friendly bunch but I had two last year that stick in my mind, one at Stodmarsh and t'other at Dungeness.

Me "hiya".... they.... just glare back at me as if I'd just been caught burgling their garden shed!

Miserable ******* GITS! :[email protected]
 

MJB

Well-known member
IAlthough I do find it odd that those who tend to be the most unpleasant, let's say, usually come across as nerdy types that in any other situation in life would probably back away from that sort of confrontation. It just seems to me,that a hobby that should be so easy for everyone to get on with because of the one common denominator, birds, because of listing etc seems to descend into chaos at times

Does it (the unpleasantness) come partly from a tendency to be slightly obsessive about an interest? That can, especially among 'loners', help create a comfortable bubble that threatens to burst if the real world intrudes in a way that goes against the 'expectations' that the individual builds into that bubble. More than a few loners have difficulty reading expression, body language, or inferring the nuances of speech, a phenomenon brilliantly portrayed by Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang Theory!

It also appears on many internet forums, perhaps characteristically so, because the visual and aural cues that provide everyday context for most people don't exist at all...:eek!:
MJB
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
Great... a thread about someone bemoaning the use of the term "Robin Strokers", a thread about "uncomfortable hides" and a thread about "miserable birders".
If this catches on, soon Minsmere will be a remote part of Suffolk again.

But yes, birders can be horrible, but not all of us are particularly good people persons (I ain't either, so my experience is both active AND passive, haha). Many "maniacal" birders will actually put up with a lot of curious behaviour from people they perceive as good birders (which, as the medal has two sides, is not good news if they do not perceive you as one).

Twitches are a really bad time to expect courtesy, as most people will be high-strung! Come back when most people have seen the bird well and the mood will be much, much better.

Note that being miserable does not mean you're a good birder (I have seen plenty examples of the opposite).

The best way to deal with miserable birders is to go to a place where you don't (have to) meet them (somewhere else, or a busy site). Sometimes, you'll find out they are OK after all (e.g. when you turn out to have mutual birding friends), sometimes you'll find out that no-one gets on with them (so your experience was no "personal attack" at all).
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
We're mostly a friendly bunch but I had two last year that stick in my mind, one at Stodmarsh and t'other at Dungeness.

Me "hiya".... they.... just glare back at me as if I'd just been caught burgling their garden shed!

Miserable ******* GITS! :[email protected]

In defence of Kent's bird hides, I have to say I very rarely have met anything other thans pleasantry and helpfulness at either site mentioned by Kentbloke. As others have pointed out the trouble with birders is that they're (mostly) human and reflect all the faults and foibles of our species.
 

Kentbloke

Ah, yes, well
In defence of Kent's bird hides, I have to say I very rarely have met anything other thans pleasantry and helpfulness at either site mentioned by Kentbloke. As others have pointed out the trouble with birders is that they're (mostly) human and reflect all the faults and foibles of our species.

I quite agree John, the incidents I mentioned were the exception, hence why they were noteworthy.

BTW, I wasn't talking about you ;)
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
What a load of old tosh! MJB sums it up perfectly:my knee jerk answer is based on 45 years of birding and 57 years of living with humans. In every area of hobbies, sport and professions you will find a group or individuals who are deemed "miserable". Some of them will be just that whereas others are not "people persons" and others just want to escape from the modern world and seek a bit of tranquility. Some , occassionally like me, know where and how to hit the off button. A few will be hardened and seasoned birders totally focused on their game and therefore lapsing over to selfishness as a result of this.
"Tales of a Tribe" is a good read - cor blimey!....what next, read a book! Yes...we used to do that once upon a time. We used to have a life before social media!
Here's a challenge - I dare you, but the owners of B/F may well ban me.
TRY STAYING OFF BIRD FORUM FOR A MONTH
 

The sniper

Well-known member
But there's still no reason for people to be rude.
I know many people who are not people's persons,who like to escape etc but they don't feel the need to be downright rude like some birders seem to,they don't look down there noses at you,or talk down at you like some birders do,yes this happens in "real life" too but I fail to see why people,who are probably not miserable buggers in real life ,turn out to be such in the field
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
What a load of old tosh! MJB sums it up perfectly:my knee jerk answer is based on 45 years of birding and 57 years of living with humans. In every area of hobbies, sport and professions you will find a group or individuals who are deemed "miserable". Some of them will be just that whereas others are not "people persons" and others just want to escape from the modern world and seek a bit of tranquility. Some , occassionally like me, know where and how to hit the off button. A few will be hardened and seasoned birders totally focused on their game and therefore lapsing over to selfishness as a result of this.
"Tales of a Tribe" is a good read - cor blimey!....what next, read a book! Yes...we used to do that once upon a time. We used to have a life before social media!
Here's a challenge - I dare you, but the owners of B/F may well ban me.
TRY STAYING OFF BIRD FORUM FOR A MONTH


I don't belieeeeve you just posted that.
 

chris butterworth

aka The Person Named Above
We can come up with all kinds of reasons for people behaving rudely but the bottom line is - some people are moody, miserable buggers, while others just may be having a bad day. Most birders are that anal that if anyone does ask a question they'd better have a few hours to spare because they will learn far more than they ever wanted to, about birds. I, of course, treat all people with respect, kindness and courtesy. Being of an age and temperament where I have achieved nirvana, I wait until I get home to get out my toy stuffed cat and proceed to kick 7 colours of living poo out of it.

Chris o:D
 

O.Reville1989

I started off with nothing and I've still got some
But there's still no reason for people to be rude.
I know many people who are not people's persons,who like to escape etc but they don't feel the need to be downright rude like some birders seem to,they don't look down there noses at you,or talk down at you like some birders do,yes this happens in "real life" too but I fail to see why people,who are probably not miserable buggers in real life ,turn out to be such in the field

As you know with your first experience being a young birder makes the situation 10 times worse in a lot of cases.
Humility from those with less experience is welcome, no one likes a know it all who knows f**k all! But it is very difficult to remain humble when being patronised and attacked purely because of age.
Saying that I have found it to be a minority. I think with birding everyone has their niche that they fit into and it takes a while to find identity in a hobby such as this.
A lot of people I have come across have struggled to "find their place" but things soon improve once they do.
Although there will always be one nasty bugger who just hates everyone regardless of whether its birding or not, no pleasing them!
Don't let it get you down, its difficult but there are good people in this hobby too.
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
Hiya Sniper, birders are very thin on the ground over here and I´ve only once ever come across a snotty one. However, when teenagers that I teach get upset about the behaviour of someone else towards them, I give them my own "20-60-20" rule, which goes as follows:
In any social group you find yourself in, be it school, youth club, sports or hobby club, scouts, etc. etc., about 20% of the people will be really nice and friendly, ones you can really relate to. About 60% will be fine, the kind of folks you can say "Hi" to but are fairly neutral about. The final 20% will be unpleasant, perhaps even nasty. Of course it works both ways...you will find 20% unpleasant, but perhaps they won´t like you either. Hopefully this final category will be the same in both directions, i.e. the 20% you dislike will be the same 20% who dislike you.
But that leaves 80% that are either good friends with you, or pleasant towards you. That´s a very good proportion (of course the figures are entirely arbitrary and for illustration only;)).
Finally, if you are ever in a group or activity where all the people are extremely nice to you and want to be friendly, leave immediately....you´ve stumbled on a Scientology Meeting.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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