From Richard Mabey ‘The Unofficial Countryside’ (1972)
I had not anticipated how embarrassing it would be to wear a pair of binoculars in a busy town street. I could not raise them to my eyes without feeling sheepish and very slightly obscene. Would the constable ever believe I was looking at a house martin’s nest under construction and not in at the typists’ powder room? In the end I worked out a technique whereby I carried the glasses in my hand, not round my neck, and flicked them quickly and nonchalantly to my eye as if I were taking a shufty at the weather. Such are the hazards of trying to be a naturalist in a town — and more seriously an indication of just how unused we are to looking for wildlife in an urban area.