This reminds me of one of my shoots where I was in a normally quiet area beside a river shooting birds. For some reason there were a lot more people walking dogs, fishing, jogging etc. that day and every one of them approached me and asked if I was a professional photographer, what equipment was I using, what was I photographing etc. Strangely, it did not bother me at all, even when they frightened the birds away, mainly because I was shooting in a public area and I accepted that.
I asked them about their dogs, asked if the fish were biting etc. Why would a photographer think he has exclusive rights in a public area?