Letter-winged Kites

Subject: Letter-winged Kites
From: "Ákos Lumnitzer" <>
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2010 12:32:49 +1000
Hi Alistair

You make a very good point about some photographers. We (three others and
I) have seen one photographer use calls on Regent Honeyeaters at
Castlereagh NR last year when they were present for a month or so. The
person did this blatantly with total disregard to others' objections -
actually this person didn't even bother to ask if others objected. Just
arrogantly walked under the tree in front of six other observers and
started playing the looped calls, stood back with camera and waited.
Luckily the birds did not give a hoot. But it is a perfect example we
witnessed which makes me and my closest photographer and birder friends
not disclose any sensitive information to anybody at all.


I think the chilling effect that the much feared egg collectors (sound a bit
like the bogey man to me) have on legitimte birders looking for information
to plan trips around probably does more harm than any actual collections! My
guess would be that photographers are far more likely to disturb breeding
than poachers. I've never seen or even heard of a poacher, but I've seen
many photographers flush birds, approach nests closely and use playback
around nesting sites. Many of those photographers are "in the club" and
people who would probably have sensitive information shared with them
without hesitation. As most of you know, I am also a fairly keen bird
photographer, so I'm not slinging mud.

For reasonably well known sites like the one mentioned here, I'd assume any
serious hunters already know about it and, to be honest, the very cliquey
approach to only sharing information about rare sightings with "those in the
know" is one of the less attractive aspects of birding.

Ákos Lumnitzer

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