Like the other major religions, Birding seems dominated by men with beards. I, who am clean shaven in the week, need two days growth before venturing to a hide.
Birding cathedrals are reserves clawed back from the human landscape: flooded quarries, salt marsh, the remnants of once great woodlands, heather moors and grass downs long stripped of their dominant oak forests.
Fanatical birders chase rare species and keep lists: like all religious zealots, they twitch. But birders are mostly inoffensive people: they don’t bless guns or systematically abuse power.
Birders are not evolution-deniers, for their witness is of feathered dinosaurs, extant not extinct. For those so minded, the holy doctrine is cladistics: evidence-based and probablistic in nature and therefore neither holy nor a doctrine at all.
Unfortunately, one thing all major religions have in common is intolerance. And the next person who comes into a hide and chatters …