Hi Stuart & all,
I'll respond to some of your comments. Surely, it is unreasonable to expect
all tour guides to know about all things (birds included). Other groups may
regret their lack of knowledge of astronomy. If the area they are guiding
over is a natural one, it is hoped that they at least know something about
the environment. However they may know all about geology instead and that is
The thread going on this line is important. This is that it is up to us to
push the fact out there in people's communities, that we are interested in
birds and other natural history topics . Funny though, I have rarely
deliberately done so for the reasons now being expressed. However it is
important that in doing so, we don't create a bad image (wandering around on
properties etc.) - and I have done plenty of that - in all innocence.
As for the ranger at Wilson's Prom NP, I think you (Stuart) are being a bit
harsh. "No more than usual" sounds OK to me. It may even have been true, if
there was nothing unusual reported there recently. He/she probably did not
know your level of knowledge of the area and whether finding a Silver Gull
was a great thrill for you. Apart from that, we all have off-days. When
going to a natural area, the aim is mainly to see what is usually there,
especially at somewhere like Wilson's Prom NP, which has plenty there on a
"usual" basis. It is unreasonable to expect someone on the gate to keep
running tabs on things as mobile as birds. Besides, they may be accused of
giving a "bum-steer" (is there an alternate nice expression to that?) if you
don't find that bird.
30 years ago, the ranger Rudd Campbell (I think) at Wyperfeld NP in NW Vic
took myself (then aged 13) and a friend, out, sitting on the back flap of
his LandRover ute (and my parents inside). This was a tour for several hours
around the park. I think he was doing his usual check of whatever was needed
to be done. I remember being shown the Mallee fowl, Peregrine Falcon,
Bee-eaters and W-w Choughs (at their respective nests) all new for me of
course then. A great guided tour but unfortunately life for park rangers is
quite different now and that kind of privilege is now rare. Generally
though, they are all pretty knowledgeable or at least interested and do
their task well.
From: S Cooney <>
To: <>; Chris Dahlberg
Date: Monday, 17 January 2000 18:56
Subject: Re: birding-aus Birdwatching Tourism
>I wanted to pick up on a couple of points that Chris made in his posting.
> 3. Environmental students. I hope everyone read Jill Denning's and
>Denise Goodfellow's post on students. With all the "Eco" courses especially
>ecotourism courses birdwatching is a non event.
>I am a mature aged environmental student doing a Bachelor of Applied
>Science in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. I am much more interested in the
>park management and flora and fauna management but I could easily and up in
>the eco-tourism trade (especially with my sales repping experience). While
>the course has no specific bird tourism content by taking ornithological
>subjects for my minor disciplines I will make the course have a birdy bent.
> Other students in the course have no, passing or intense interest in
>birds, but do share an interest in our natural heritage in a broader sense,
>a good thing. With my interest and the two or three other birding people's
>interest we probably more than represent the broader communities interest
>in birds, bird protection and bird watching.
> 5. Visiting birdwatchers do not go on set tours and make their own
>arrangements. Actually a lot will but I know what Denise means.
>Our non-birding, sea kayaking trip to Fiji will have two birdwatchers
>(Myself and Wife) on it and we will expect to look at birds. Pause for
>every passing seabird and climb mountains to seek out what may be another
>tick. I will certainly make this interest known to our tour guides and I
>hope, perhaps naively, that they will have some knowledge of the avian
>fauna. If they don't, I'll try and teach them what I pick up while I am
>over there. We also hope to make our own arrangements for a couple of
>birding days, but do go on set tours.
>I also had a bad experience recently when visiting Wilson's Prom N.P. From
>previous postings I recalled that a ranger at the Prom was interested in
>birds and would point out anything unusual that had been reported. I
>thought I would ask the ranger at the gate if anything interesting had been
>seen to be greeted by a snickering reply that there were "no more than
>usual". I felt like a bit of a dill for a while and justified it away as
>being a response from a casual worker. However, the point remains, as
>stated earlier in the discussion that there is an untapped resource being
>missed by tourism operators, in this case the National Park.
>Well that's my two cents worth, well maybe four cents,
>All the best,
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