can hardly believe it

To: "'Birding-Aus \(Forum\)'" <>
Subject: can hardly believe it
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 14:02:08 +1100
It's not just restricted to lone female birdwatchers. As an ecological
consultant, usually carrying binoculars, digital camera & notebook, and
wearing dark sunglasses, I'm often stopped and quizzed about what I'm doing
(sometimes by the police, often by other members of the public). The
frequency of these inquiries seems to have increased considerably since 9/11
and the introduction of the "Be Alert But Not Alarmed" campaign.

However, before you think it is a recent phenomenon, I remember when I was a
student at uni (late 1970s/early '80s), a fellow zoology student arrived
back on campus after being physically attacked the night before. He had been
out spotlighting for crickets and while crouched down among some bushes with
his head torch on was whacked across the back with either a bar or plank of
wood (can't remember which one). Apparently, some farmer thought the guy was
spying on the family farm from the roadside reserve. A case of "whack first,
ask questions later"! 

Stephen Ambrose
Ambrose Ecological Services Pty Ltd
Ryde NSW


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