I have had it drilled into me since childhood not to talk to strangers. All the fairytales caution against talking to strangers in the woods and naturally lone women don’t talk to strange men in the woods. Yet today I broke with convention and had chats with two strangers prompted by bird sightings. Having spent some time watching a group of oystercatchers at my feet, though safely down a steep bank, I couldn’t resist pointing them out. Close to their beaks are striking in the brilliance of their red and in their length and strength, not surprising if you are going to open an oyster! The second encounter was another stranger pointing out to me a couple of cormorants that he had been watching fish together working their way out with the tide.