Rare Bird Alert Website

To: "Paul Dodd" <>, "'Chris Sanderson'" <>, "'Colin R'" <>
Subject: Rare Bird Alert Website
From: "Simon Blanchflower" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 09:05:07 +1100
Hello All, I have noticed a couple of comments about delay in sightings submitted to Eremaea Birdlines and thought I would pass a couple of comments as one of the moderators (not wishing to sound defensive of course!).

Generally these Birdlines have at least 3 moderators, with the exception of Tasmania which has 1, Victoria which has 4 and Australia which has 7.

Rest assured that these Birdlines are updated regularly by the moderators and when one of the moderators is off line due to work or other commitments the others are always notified to ensure that the regularity of updates is kept up. The moderators like users get copied on all sighting via email so we don't need to log in to check - as with modern technology and for those with Blackberries or similar (sadly) we know immediately when a sighting is submitted!

Based on what I see, I reckon that between us moderators we access the website to update sightings at least 1 -3 times a day each (of course if we don't see any emails submitted its zero and if we see lots coming through its more).

Of course there are times when delays might be apparent, but we try and keep this to a minimum so that submission to moderation is minimised.

Note that because we see the emails first - if it were a rarity we would obviously realise that fast publication is paramount .

If any users are frustrated with the speed of submission moderation, can I suggest you use the email link on the top of the page and email one of the moderators and let them know - would suggest you do this if there is a clear delay for an important sighting as we get alot of sightings which are interesting, but are perhaps more regular from that area (so slight delay in publication does not diminish the chances of seeing the bird). We also actively do not publish certain sightings due to the fact that they are common or regular - for example we loose count of submissions of Channel-Billed Cuckoos during September and we have to start culling them after the first week or so to maintain the integrity of the website. If we do not publish a sighting we generally get in touch with users, although this is not always possible for multiple sighting of the same thing / species.

Another potential delay is that we do not always get adequate detail on sightings and we have to liaise with observers to ensure that (as far as possible) the sighting is accurate + we will always follow up on mega-rarities. Of course we are always cognisant that timing is key!

Lastly, I would encourage all of you to consider using Eremaea as we have a number of regular users rather than many users and of course the more that submit their records the more comprehensive the coverage. The benefit of Eremaea Birdlines is that it is a pure sightings based catalogue of rare or unusual sightings and of course its FREE!

Hope this note is useful to give folks some context around sighting delays and I hope that we don't disappoint too frequently.

Thanks and look forward to seeing your submissions!


Simon Blanchflower
Birdline NSW and Birdline Australia Moderator.

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