Are we birders, twitchers etc a rare species or what

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Subject: Are we birders, twitchers etc a rare species or what
From: "Bruce Roubin" <>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 23:31:42 +1000
In response to the comments from dear Laurie & Leanne Knight (of Melbourne - Ah HA!):
I have birded many designated hot spots including various sewage treatment plants (even at the Alice).
Furthermore, whenever I come across anybody at such a spot, unless they are very obviously not out there for the birdlife (eg. driving earth moving equipment, riding trail bikes etc) , I always strike up a conversation in case they are birding (in spite of their apparent lack of optical aids).
For example:
- at Kurnell a lady approached who turned out to be off with the pixies, and when I told her I was there watching variegated fairy wrens, she thought I was too!
- in a little park on the headland at North Bondi, where I was observing Van Diemen's (excuse me, I mean N.H.) honeyeaters and red-rumped parrots, I found a young lady apparently watching the same birds, taking notes & sketching on a clipboard - it turned out she was doing a botanical survey for a uni project, and had no incidental interest in birds.
- on Lady Carrington Drive (Royal NP, south of Sydney) whilst listening to the repertory of a lyrebird, a budding prospect approached my wife and myself - the first and only time I have ever found anyone else in the field with nocs (albeit bulky old 10x40's). It got a bit scary, as I then noticed he also had a bowie knife in his belt. My wife turned away because he was topless (he was past middle aged, not a pretty sight). 
He had a notepad, and after a lengthy conversation it was apparent he was a hiker who deviated off the beaten track and used nocs just for the views. He took notes on each vantage point he had reached.
Do you get the full implication of what we are saying:
- Darryl McKay and myself have been birding for a combined total of 10 years around Sydney and have never come across another local birder (and I've never come across any other birder at all!). We haven't even bumped into each other (never heard of him before today - sorry Darryl). Further, I have never bumped into another birder in the field in any other State - granted, the only State I haven't looked in is Victoria. My brother, and my brother in-law and his wife - all in QLD - are all birders, but we've only gone out together, ruling out accidentally running into each other whilst birding!
I assure you that my skills (admittedly untested), in identifying other birders are finely honed (by introspection).
This overall has to be remarkable, and not just a lack of coincidence (or should that be "not just a coincidence" - I'm confused).
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