Lone Retired Birder Concerns

Now I am semi retired I have more time for birding. Having worked in a busy environment for many years I quite like, when I can, to get out around the local rural area on my own. I can do things at my own pace, stop look and listen when I like. But, as I am on my own (and without a dog) I find that I can get many strange looks and comments. What with todays society as it is, a lone man on his own must be up to no good. I beginning to feel concerned about going out on my own.

Anyone have advice on how I can continue my lone birding?

  • I always go out alone and never come across that kind of problem - though openly carrying a camera and big lens and binoculars, most people realise what I'm about and often have a chat. My(and my wife's) biggest concern is how vulnerable I might be if the wrong sort of people come along.




    My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobs_retired_now/

  • Hi Lone Birder welcome to the community from Sheffield.
    I can symathise with your problem, I like to go out on my own too.
    I suppose it is a question of whereabouts you go, I used to get funny looks on my patch when I first started with the camera but now more and more people are carrying them.
    I've been into Sheffield with mine this morning and not got any funny looks that I've seen, but people know why I was in that area.
    Whereabouts are you going and what part of the country are you in?

    My Flickr photos

  • Just a thought...
    I understand your concerns, I wonder if perhaps it might be worth you contacting your local birding group,
    to in the first instance meet other like minded folk, and discover if they have some tips for you to be able to feel more confident, when being about on your own, and suggest areas .


  • In reply to SunnyKate2:

    Thanks for your reply. I will bring up the subject next time I'm at a RSPB meet. I like to go from my back door around a few fields and local footpaths and study what is local.
  • In reply to Alan.:

    Hi Alan

    Thanks for your reply.

    I'm in North Hertfordshire between two commuter towns, with great countryside between them. As birders my wife and I travel far and wide, but I like to keep and eye on what's local. Within my immediate area people know that I'm a bit of a birder and expect to see me out and about. But now as I have more time l walk further. hope people along my routes get use to me.

  • In reply to Bobs_Still_Retired:

    Hi Bob

    Thanks for your reply.
    As I am 'big lump' the 'wrong sort' tend to leave me be, I just do not want to considered as 'wrong sort' in anyway. Yes I maybe slightly weird standing in field in all weathers looking through binoculars at a tiny speck in the sky or a distance rookery. If I am considered weird for that then I'm ok with it.

  • I do the same as you LB I like to keep an eye on my patch and surrounding area (canal and fields), the more you are out the more people will get used to you, I find a few dogs bark at me because I wear a hat and carry my camera over my shoulder on my monopod, they are mainly startled/frightened and I find their owners are more embarrassed than I am, I've started carrying chopped up carrots in my pocket, most dogs will take a bit off me and then are ok.

    My Flickr photos

  • Hello Lone Birder and welcome to the community. It's a shame when folk jump to the wrong conclusions when they see a person on their own (particularly a man) that maybe stopping for a while observing wildlife around them, I'm afraid it is that sort of age we now appear to live in which is sad when everyone is tarred with the suspicious brush.
    A month ago I was with my husband photographing butterflies on the edge of a very large field; fifteen minutes later a lady (farm owner) came traipsing across the huge expanse to check on what we were doing as she considered we were standing there too long !! I would have thought the camera would have given away what we were doing there but we had a friendly chat with her (we were not trespassing as there we were on a public footpath) and she was ok with us. She said they had had poachers who go after the wild hares (especially at night) and set traps so she came to make sure this elderly couple (us) were not doing the same !!! it was midday and I didn't think we looked out of place with camera ha ha .
    So, I would suggest, just carry on enjoying your birding and wildlife spotting, you are doing no harm and to heck with what people think !!


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"