I totally agree with you. I think most birders and bird photographers
act in a responsible manner, but occasionally I see someone who is so
keen to tick or photograph a bird (or other wildlife) that they act in a
most inappropriate manner, e.g, banging on trees with hollows or
otherwise intentionally flushing a bird, approaching very closely
despite having good binoculars or a long lens, using flash at close
range (no point if not close anyway), etc.. These people seem to be
quite oblivious of the needs of the birds, or they just don't care. It
is much better to be patient and wait quietly and unobtrusively for the
good view or ideal shot; much more is learnt that way, too. If you miss
out, so what! At least you've been outside and communed with nature.
Carl Clifford wrote:
I have just had a great couple of weeks at Bowra, a bit damp at times,
but great birding and the BQ folks are doing a great job with managing
One thing concerns me though, the amount of play-back used to attract
birds by birders and birder/photographers. During my stay there was a
group doing audio recordings of bird songs. Some members of the group
was less than amused when they discovered that they were probably
recording near as much play-back as they were recording actual live
bird-song. The worst incident I saw involved the Restless Flycatchers
that have been nesting by the front door of the shearers quarters.
Coming back for lunch one day, There, on a ladder by the nest was a
"birder/photographer" repeatedly using play-back to make the
Flycatcher chicks adopt the begging pose, until he had "the right shot'.
Several years ago while at another Australian Wildlife Conservancy
(AWC) property, "Scotia", I had a chat with a staff member regarding
the AWC policy on using calls to attract birds for the purpose of
ticking or photographing them. I was told that AWC does not support
this type of call-in and that any-one found to continue using it after
being asked to stop would be asked to leave the property.
Signs have already appeared at Bowra setting-out guidelines for
photography and call use, so I presume this excessive play-back has
been noted. Whether the notices will do any good is yet to be seen. as
in the words of one of my fellow visitors said "they have to catch you
doing it first".
So please folks, please play by the rules, as Bowra can be closed to
the public at any time if the behaviour of some visitors is deemed to
be not in the interests of the wildlife. Also, remember that this is
no longer a private property, but part of the National Reserve System
and subject to Federal environmental Legislation, and if anyone wants
to tackle that Tar-Baby, have fun.
Please don't give the powers that be excuses to close down Bowra to
visitors, too many people have given so much time and money to keep
Bowra open for visitors, don't let them down.
P.S. No doubt some will regard this post as an anti-call-in rant, if
so, sorry, but my birding philosophy is "if you can't find the bird by
field-craft, you don't deserve it"
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