In much of its South Australian distribution, Goldfinches are often seen
when casually driving through degraded and cultivated country, habitat
where formal bird Atlas sites are less likely to be established.
Goldfinches regularly occur in orchards and plantations near Port
Lincoln on Eyre Peninsula. They were and probably are still
distributed along the coast in autumn and winter south of Port Augusta
(Chinaman?s Creek), often feeding in association with neophema parrots
near the foreshore.
Not wanting to be judged as a sceptic, the supposed changing status of
Goldfinch populations in SA could be a result of a variation between
methods used to record species in different Atlas surveys. What do
others think about comparison of results leading to assumptions of
decline when a different recording method was used in each survey?
As most of you know, during the first atlas, a bird species observed
within any 1 degree block, even on a casual Sunday twitch, was easily
recorded and became part of the result. Many birds were recorded for
the 1st Atlas in this way. Because of the different survey methods
used, it takes a greater commitment to record the same bird to the 2nd
atlas scheme. The ease of recording casual sightings could be an
influencing factor when comparing survey results, particularly when
looking at common or less significant species that may not attract as
much "special attention".
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