Hah, Now here's an interesting thought from provocative Ian in Tasmania.
Best twitch?, difficult to decide but the Cooktown Gull and the Whim Creek
Crake have to be well up there. And the .. and the ..
From: Ian May
Sent: Thursday, 9 May 2013 1:37 PM
To: Tony Russel
Subject: A twitcher falls off the perch
Get back on the perch Tony. You have just found a new way of bragging about
your achievements and make everybody feel sorry for you at the same time.
Well done. You ought to be employed by the Government to sell their carbon
I was thinking of starting up a new venture, the Twitched Species Trading
Scheme (TSTS), something similar to the Carbon trading scheme. If you can
make people feel that sorry for you over your Aus list of 753, you would
make millions out of trading your twitches.
Now tell me , what is the best twitch?
Tony Russel wrote:Back on the perch Tony.
> Hi All, I've been twitching since the early nineties, feverishly
> chasing after vagrants new and rare to Australia. My Oz total now
> stands at 753 given my last twitch for the Eyebrowed Thrush near
> Atherton. I have in the past spent what must be thousands of dollars
> on fuel, airfares, accommodation, site fees, food, etc., and many
> hundreds of hours going for the latest vagrant arrivals before they
disappear or die or get predated.
> Great fun.
> However, things seem to be changing. In recent years I've thought
> about going for the latest vagrants in Broome and Perth, like the
> Semi-palmated Plover in Broome and the Northern Pintail in Perth,,
> and even the Princess Parrot in the Centre, but somehow have lost the
compulsion to go for them.
> Money and time are not the determining factors. I just seem to have
> lost steam.
> The recent Widgeon in WA and the current Wagtail in Alice have of
> course caught my attention, but I find I just can't be bothered going for
> What for? Just another tick in my list? I was hoping to catch up with
> a Black-headed Gull in Darwin sometime, but having just been to the UK
> (without my bins) I saw hundreds of them. And widgeons. So what?
> Surely this sort of thinking is sacrilege to the true twitcher I
> thought I was. Now the thinking is "so what if I don't see them?"
> I used to think that lifting my total towards 800 was important to me,
> now it seems entirely immaterial. So what if other people get a bigger
> list than me? It doesn't affect anything does it . I collect
> beautiful pictures of rare birds on the internet. Not the same as
> seeing them in the flesh ? Of course not. So?
> In the past I've had many a heated discussion with some of our more
> academic birdos over the value of twitching, which they of course
> consider contributes very little to the important issues of habitat
> and species conservation. I have to agree with them. What possible
> useful impact can a single vagrant achieve before it dies or gets eaten?
> Of course a group of vagrants, like the Canada Geese of a few years
> ago, if left to establish and form ever growing numbers, can have
> effects on habitat usage, nest sites, food supplies etc, which upsets the
> balance and often affect indigenous species adversely. Moreover, many
> these feral groups are now too well established over time to be
> eradicated, and isn't it better to learn to live with them than get
> all upset about them. Feral colonies are only good for twitchers but
> only of nuisance value for conservationists.
> I don't understand how my drop off in zeal has come about. Those
> disdainful of twitching might suggest that "Aha, at last he's come to
> his senses", but I don't accept that. The thought of seeing a new
> bird is still interesting , even exciting, but I just can't be
> bothered going after them anymore. I Googled the creek where the
> Widgeon was seen in WA, and I thought about asking Chris Watson
> precisely which garden in Alice has the Wagtail. But to what avail? I
know I'm not going.
> Is there anybody out there suffering from a similar malaise ?
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