can hardly believe it

To: <>
Subject: can hardly believe it
From: "Liz" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 08:06:55 +0100
You'll be pleased to know it happens in the UK too Judith.
It went roughly as follows (shortened version):

Me busy carrying out shorebird disturbance survey. Parked up at the edge of a village overlooking an bay of an estuary minding my own business, fairly oblivious to things around me as I was concentration on counting and mapping waders. Next thing, I see a jam sandwich with blue flashing lights in rear mirror followed by a loud knock on window. Two boys in blue standing there, one at window, one behind car talking into his radio.

Officer "Can you please step out of the car".
Me  "Why, what's wrong"
Officer "Just step out of the car madam"
I get out of the car.
Officer  "I need to take some details.  Can I ask what you're doing here madam?"
Me  "Erm....... I'm doing a bird survey"
I show him my recording forms from the morning's work and try to explain the details of what I'm doing. He doesn't seem impressed or doesn't understand.
Officer "And you're name and address please"
Details given
Officer "And what exactly are you doing" he asks again
I try to explain, again and tell them I'm working on a contract to a company.
Officer "Well madam, we've had complaints from someone who says they're uncomfortable with you pointing your large camera lens near their house."
Me  "I don't have a camera with me"
Officer  "So what's that then madam?"  pointing to the 'scope in a Skua case.
Me  "It's my telescope, here, have a look"

While this is happening, his mate is wandering round the car checking things 

Officer has a look down the scope.
Officer "Thank you ma'am. Can you let me have the details of who you're working so I can check out your story"
I give him name, address and tel. number.
Officer phones the co-worker at the office and asks for a description of me just to check. Officer looks puzzled and concerned. He walks away talking into radio and gesturing to his mate to come over. There's a lot of mumbling between them and they keep looking at me. I'm starting to get a little nervous....

Seems co-worker gave my description. Unfortunately, that preceding weekend I'd had my very long hair all chopped off very, very short unbeknownst to co-worker. The description given didn't match my appearance.
Needless to say, things went a little downhill for a while.
In the end I was told to move on despite my protests about not being able to finish my work. I even tried to explain that this was a government contract. That didn't wash with them and they waited behind me until I moved off. You can't win!


From: "Judith L-A" <>
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 2:52 AM
To: <>
Subject: can hardly believe it

Being a lone woman, I was birding from my car window on the weekend, when an
off-duty policeman pulled up behind me, & demanded I prove I was a
birdwatcher, & advised me that whenever I stopped the car I had to go into
all the surrounding houses & inform them I am a birdwatcher.




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