GPS for birders

To: "'Michael Tarburton'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: GPS for birders
From: "Colin Driscoll" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 18:30:48 +1100
Mike, I was remembering this last week when I needed to find 6 wooden pegs
(by their coordinates that I had uploaded) spread over a wide area in the
bush and had no trouble with that task. 



-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Michael Tarburton
Sent: Sunday, 10 December 2006 6:01 PM
To: birding-aus
Subject: GPS for birders

G'day to those interested in GPS usage

Chris Corben gave some advice in warning GPS users about their stated
accuracy.  So I have taken that advice and taken 11 readings for an easily
repeated spot in our back  yard at different times of day and night.
Between these I have gone to two sites several hundred metres and several
kilometres away and come back to check the readings out.

Standing on the same spot the reading never varies more than one point
either way from the original.  Whatever the reading is it will change one
point by my moving two steps in each of the four cardinal points.  Quite
often one step changes the reading by one point.  I do not claim to be an
expert on this but to me putting these two observations together means I
have an accuracy of + or - 2m.  I reckon I could find a birds nest with this
accuracy.  In fact both the distant points I have visited are Tawny
Frogmouth nests and each time I visit them I get the same reading or within
1 digit.

Now I know it was popular opinion (& probably the truth) that Garmin did
pull away from Magellan for some years.  However, from what I have seen and
tried to outline here the Magellan explorist XL has now bridged that gap.

I cannot cease from being amazed at the speed it finds satellites and
changes speed or direction very soon after the change has occurred in
reality.  It even reports my walking speed and direction inside the house.
So I think it will be very good for locating my cave entrances that swiftlet
colonies occupy on Cape York, when I go there next month.

Thanks Chris and Colin for your comments on this issue for these things are
not the answer to everything and I am sure I still l have something to learn
from others.

Mike Tarburton


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