I am normally incredibly slow at seeing birds on my walks with the dog. Although I have a perfectly good pair of binoculars (in fact, I have two) I almost never remember to take them with me. Pooh bag, lead and keys, and indeed dog, I can remember, though I have on occasion got outside the gate to find I don't have the lead, or slammed the door and then realised the keys are still in my bag. And I have had to call in on long-suffering neighbours when I have forgotten pooh bags. The dog knows what I am like, and makes sure when it is near walk time that where I am, she is.
Still, on our walk today, I saw a flock of long tailed tits in an ash tree. They were completely enchanting and took no notice of me whatsoever as they flew from branch to branch, chattering to each other. The RSPB says they can be seen all year round; but I only see them rarely and it is magical when I do.
Another bird I saw recently was a grey wagtail, which I saw out with a friend. My friends are mostly used to my getting very excited when I see a bird I don't normally see. My family regard the whole thing as another of Mum's little oddnesses. Strange then, that they are so very keen on Autumn Watch on BBC. What's the difference between me and Bill Oddie then, I'd like to know? Or maybe, actually, I wouldn't.