Don’t ask your birding questions – just ask the ‘boss’!
I have been birdwatching for some 10 years. I started on my own and quickly realised that in general it was a male pursuit, if only by a narrow margin at conferences and local talks. Not much has changed. However, about three years ago my husband of nearly 40 years decided he wanted to come out with me. He knew very little about birds, only the birds seen in the garden over the years. Immediately, I noticed that other male birders always asked him a question first. ‘Much around? Have you seen the Pallid?’ His response was “I’m not sure, just ask the boss,” This has never bothered me, I always end up chatting anyway. My advice to Jenny Jones Cousin (letters page, BW March issue) is please give it another try. There are other women like myself and plenty of men in bird hides who are only too pleased to help ID birds for beginners. Perhaps try a guided RSPB walk for beginners at a local reserve near to home. Janet Wilkes