A drake teal comes to the pond with the muddled mallards. His posture - long neck, ready to spring into flight - tells me what his instincts are telling him. This isn't right. I shouldn't have joined this flock. I'm too exposed. Too close to humans.
Sometimes in life you join the wrong flock and you end up in the wrong place. But for me his wrong place is the right place and I can see a wild teal from my desk. A blessing on my week.
There is something childlike about the best of birdwatching: the sensation of seeing wonders – and it gives endless savour to the more grown-up aspects of the pleasure, the naming and understanding and relishing.
How to Be a Bad Birdwatcher