Re:(John Harris) BARC: when either/or seems good enough

To: <>
Subject: Re:(John Harris) BARC: when either/or seems good enough
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 14:36:55 +1000
John Harris said:
"Further to Frank's comments, at least having the bird on the list i.e pond 
heron may
encourage others to observe more closely any unusual birds they may see.  If it 
is not
on the list then it is more likely to be overlooked as just another unusual 
bird not able
to be ided. A little bit of awareness may just create a spark that helps 
someone else
obtain a more positive sighting in future."

I believe that Frank said in reference to the Pond Heron: "I do have an 
Australian list and I count
it on MY Australian list".

The Pond Heron would certainly not exist on any 'official' Australian Species 
And neither it should.

Frank said: "On a tour to Christmas Island we observed a Pond Heron over four 
or five days. We have
full frame photographs of it, and lots of notes. No one doubts that it is a 
pond heron. BARC accepts
that it is a pond heron. However, which one? It was an immature and it could 
theoretically have been
a Javan Pond Heron or a Chinese Pond Heron. I feel that it was almost certainly 
a Javan Pond Heron
(Java is close by), but the Chinese Pond Heron is apparently more migratory 
(?), and there are
records for this species on Java (so I have been told), and so it could 
theoretically turn up on
Christmas Island."

I haven't been able to determine if Frank submitted a Rare Sighting Report to 
BARC but he did
mention the sighting (in another context) in a posting to Birding-Aus dated 19 
Oct 1999.

John, you are right in saying "A little bit of awareness may just create a 
spark that helps someone
obtain a more positive sighting in future" but my point is 'What is the best 
way to report such
POSSIBLE sightings to create that awareness?'.
I don't think that the purpose of a Rare Sighting Report should be to have BARC 
decide which of two
species it was that the observer saw.
That is, to say that the bird observed was one or the other of two similar 
BARC's job should be to determine if the observer has produced enough evidence 
to reasonably prove
the sighting of a particular species.
If BARC's verdict is 'not accepted' then it would be in order to suggest which 
species it MAY have

If the observer is sure of the genus but not sure of the species they are 
observing they should be
able to report a POSSIBLE Rare Sighting and get some credit.
This report should be made available as widely and as quickly as possible after 
a simplified
verification process to eliminate frivolous reporting.
I don't think that simply reporting to BARC and waiting for that party to 
disseminate the report is
the best way.
However, a sub-committee of BARC might be used whose job would be to post an 
'alert' on such forums
as Birding-Aus or via e-mail direct to anyone who wishes to 'subscribe' to an 
electronic 'alert'

It is quite obvious that there are groups of birders who have their own 'alert' 
networks which
enable them to keep up with the latest news in the Rare Sightings world. Some 
of these groups
operate at a quite sophisticated level and therefore members of those groups 
have a distinct
I don't deny them the right to operate that way; if I was more able and more 
interested I would
endeavour to gain membership of one (or more) such group.
Perhaps I might have trouble being sponsored but it would be fun just trying to 
gain membership!

Bob Inglis
Woody Point

Birding-Aus is now on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message 'unsubscribe
birding-aus' (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU