can hardly believe it

To: "bob gosford" <>
Subject: can hardly believe it
From: "Alan Gillanders" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 16:38:20 +1000
I have two experiences for you.

The first was outside a little country school here on the Atherton Tablelands. I stopped with some clients outside the school because the Channel-billed Cuckoos parasitised the nests of Currawongs there every year and that was a bird we were chasing. I used to live nearby and though I was known to all the staff and most of the kids. I was yelled at by a young lady from 30 metres away who demanded to know, "What do you think you are doing? Don't you know this is a school?" When I started to enter the school grounds to talk to her she told me to stay outside. She relaxed a little when I asked after the principal (who she was relieving) and two teachers' aides by name and came a little closer so we did not have to shout at each other. I explained what I was doing and that as we were on the road reserve we were quite entitled to be there bird watching. She said that if ever I was to do that again I was to come to the office first to inform the school of our presence. The incongruence of this request/demand and her demanding I remain outside the gate seemed to have not occurred to her.

The second was on a country road in W. A. I was there with a friend and had walked up and down the road for about 20 minutes when we noticed a car come out of one of the nearby farms and drive towards my friend's vehicle. It stopped behind it. We had observed that it contained three females of three generations. We quickened our pace to see what they wanted. "What do you think you are doing?" (Do they always say this?)" I called out an answer and held up my binoculars thinking that would help show our intentions were honourable but my approaching so quickly seemed to frighten her. "Just know that we've got your number!" Slipping the vehicle into gear she did a 180 of which any hoon would be proud and sped off into town. We thought about going up to the farm where we could see people working but decided that we would leave it at that. My friend mused that he would not have considered two reasonably well presented middle-aged gentlemen in a pale blue Mercedes to be so intimidating.

On the other hand I have more often been held up by people wanting to tell me about some "rare bird" which comes to their garden. When I see people are suspicious I too try to explain to them what is going on. Usually with pleasing results for all concerned.

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