Perils of a Birdwatcher

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.

2 Responses to Perils of a Birdwatcher

  1. Carol says:

    That is so funny!

    I came across this website after watching the latest Countryfile (BBC) episode where they were featuring the early wildlife film makers. Although I’ve had Richard’s ‘Food For Free’ book for years (almost like the bible in our house), I had no idea he was so good-looking in his youth. I’m afraid I was googling images to see if I could find a nice one of him in his youth! Enjoyed your quote though,
    Carol.

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