I've been thinking about what is was that first excited me about birds, whenever I do so my mind immediately returns to something my father told me.
He explained how during a family holiday to Argyle, Western Scotland, his father showed him an Oystercatcher. My dad says that as a small boy seeing for the first time this very distinctive bird he thought it was a clockwork toy.
Years later when he had a family of his own he took us to the same loch - Loch Caolisport - (pronounced 'killis-sport') the name means shallow sandy inlet and it's a beautiful quiet stretch of the coast not often visited, as if it's a secret to those of us fortunate enough to have been there. At this very same spot I must have seen the very same bird as my father because I thought precisely the same thing he had when he'd been a kid there 35 years before.
Well okay, maybe it wasn't the same bird, just the same magic.