Bird Alert - Clearly something is not working....

To: Simon Mustoe <>,<>
Subject: Bird Alert - Clearly something is not working....
From: "Frank O\"Connor" <>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 14:58:51 +0800

The bird was reported by Steve sending photos to a person near Mandurah, who then forwarded them. By the time it had been reported it had gone. Yes, the bird could be seen from the road when it was there (with a good scope but distant). I was asked not to report the location because of the concerns about future access for Hooded Plovers (by someone other than Steve), but I told them that the information was already out there.

Steve is probably the best birder that I have met. His knowledge and enthusiasm is outstanding. Yes, in future he will hopefully forward sightings faster, but my understanding is that he is not on the internet. He is aware of Birds Australia in Perth (he gave an outstanding and inspiring talk to a monthly meeting), but I guess he was busy in the field and didn't have the details to forward it directly or sooner. The information did not get through until after the bird had left.

Yes, in future Steve will report sightings quicker, but as I said in this case at that time, it would not have mattered what rare sightings system was used.

The situation of the SA penguin, is what always happens here in WA. You never hear about the bird until some time after the initial sighting. In many cases, after it has been taken into care by DEC. This is because the sighting is by non birders, or at least people who have no direct contact with birding associations, or is by a member of DEC who has taken the bird into care.

At 14:28 26/07/2010, Simon Mustoe wrote:

That's not true. The bird was viewable very easily from a roadside. The initial report came out that it was on private land, so I followed up (I was the only one who did this). It only took a few moments talking to Steve Elson to know that he was happy to report it, he has expressed an interest in reporting things in future and that the bird was quite accessible to anyone who went there:

So far from being wrong, I think this illustrates the point perfectly again. If anything, it makes it even clearer. By engaging with people in the field like Steve, who is a great guy and very very generous with his knowledge, we can provide a better service to birding overall.


> Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 14:22:14 +0800
> To: 
> From: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Bird Alert - Clearly something is not working....
> I understand Simon's point, but he is very wrong to quote the example
> of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
> 1. It was not reported until after it had left.
> 2. The person who found it is not on the internet.
> 3. The person who found it was doing a Hooded Plover survey.
> 4. The bird was on private property, and there was a worry that if
> others turned up, then there would no longer be access for the Hooded
> Plover surveys.
> So whatever system you would prefer for reporting rare birds, this
> bird would not have been reported.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :

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