We’ve had more let­ters in re­sponse to Bo Be­olens’ Grumpy Old Birder col­umn in May’s Bird Watch­ing, where he crit­i­cised some pho­tog­ra­phers for giv­ing birdwatching a bad name.

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

I would like to com­ment fur­ther. Firstly, with ref­er­ence to Steve Cook’s let­ter in last month’s Bird Watch­ing and his com­ment that pho­tog­ra­phers “crowd out hides with their tripods”. I won­der what the three legged items that sup­port scopes used by the non pho­tog­ra­phers are!! I would sug­gest Steve has “shot him­self in the foot” on this one. Se­condly, if we pho­tog­ra­phers are so bad, I won­der why the RSPB on page 18 of June’s Bird Watch­ing want us to be tak­ing pho­to­graphs of Puffins? Per­haps, Steve should take the RSPB to task.

Pete Stock­ton

My first thought was that it was a load of male bovine ex­cre­ment, but it is typ­i­cal of some­one who has a nar­row mind. I will il­lus­trate my thought by one of my ex­pe­ri­ences. A few months ago, I rose very early and af­ter an hour and a half drive ar­rived at the re­serve, I then walked to the hide and set my­self up still while it was dark. As the dawn rose, I was re­warded with very close up views which made for some su­per pho­to­graphs. Then, fol­low­ing clomp­ing foot­steps, the door to the hide was opened and then slammed shut. A man pro­ceeded to clat­ter about set­ting up his scope (af­ter loudly open­ing a win­dow), he then turned to me and asked again loudly if any­thing was about. My re­ply was quite to the point. So, what should we do, ban te­le­scopes of course, if there is some­thing you don’t like ban it. As a mat­ter of in­ter­est, how would you ban cam­eras? The idea is barmy.

David Bis­son

I would like to say that I agree with some if not all as­pects of Bo’s words. My gripe con­cerns a lo­cal na­ture re­serve where hides have been po­si­tioned around for­mer, now flooded, gravel pits. I used to spend many hours just sit­ting and watch­ing the birds, some com­mon, oc­ca­sion­ally not so com­mon. Sadly, now, I find that when­ever I visit, the ma­jor­ity of the benches are taken up with pho­tog­ra­phers com­par­ing their ex­pen­sive and mas­sive long lenses and wav­ing them about in all di­rec­tions. Most of the guys I used to meet, equipped only with a pair of binoc­u­lars, oc­ca­sion­ally a scope, have de­serted, prob­a­bly to find qui­eter sites in which to in­dulge their hobby and in­ter­ests. Quite sad, re­ally, as I have only been about three times this year due to lack of space and lack of bird­ers with whom to en­joy ban­ter and seek ad­vice on un­usual sight­ings.

Bob, CP man­ager

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