When my first son was born I was twenty two, luckily the labour started in darkness in February otherwise the birding may have got in the way of attending the birth. I was a fool. By the time my second son was born in 2002 I was in the middle of my second wind of birding, patchmeister for the Northumberland Local Patch List and Newbiggin stalwart. I decided things would be different and second son would come birding with me, I wouldn't leave him behind and miss out. I would head out expecting to do a two hour sea watch and be back after forty minutes frustrated because he wouldn't sit still or stop crying in the cold cruel wind. My expectations were too high. I was still a fool.
In 2007 when our twins were born and at the enlightened age of 42 I abandoned all hope of ever birding properly again. I lowered my expectations, I became an armchair birder, reading about other people's birds.
I tell you all, hardened birders and Glaucous -winged veterans alike, this tale so you might understand when I tell you I went out with three kids and a pair of dusted off bins today for a Wren and came back triumphant. Expect nothing and everything becomes exciting.