Hot weather and birders: Bo Beolens and pink stilettos!

To: Tony Russell <>, Birding Aus <>
Subject: Hot weather and birders: Bo Beolens and pink stilettos!
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2013 11:10:45 +0930
Hi Tony

I recall you raising this once before, and thank you for going into details.

 Bo Beolens gave a fascinating talk at the recent Wildlife Tourism Australia
workshop on a related issue (see in title), that of disabled birders and
"six foot" guides.

Some of the statements from respondents to my PhD study  mention similar
problems.  Some women complained about being out with such guides who could
see a bird from their particular vantage point and grew angry that their
clients couldn't.  One lady whom I know personally, returned from a trip on
the point of exhaustion, ridden by the guide all the way to "keep up".  Her
husband was furious.  Another woman trying to keep up with the guide and two
other clients who were racing ahead, fell and hurt herself so badly she had
to be helicoptered out.

One response to this sort of guiding, and again you raise this issue in your
comment on "return business", is that couples in particular, seem more
likely to do further trips with either a local guide or by themselves.  Why
couples?  Well ,often one spouse is a more serious birder.  But if he (and
it's generally a male) sees their spouse, a less serious lister, for
example, is not enjoying themselves, then often they won't use that firm

Bo compared the issue to pink stilettos and boots.  Not all can wear the
former or the latter!  There needs to be a range of guides and experiences.


On 25/10/13 10:26 AM, "Tony Russell" <> wrote:

> Interesting that you have raised this Denise. I have been out with some
> guides , well known ones too, who seem to have no concern about or
> understanding of their clients limitations. Some of them race around at a
> pace difficult for others to keep up with and if the guide notices at all
> can become impatient and often instruct people to "keep up", not realising
> that this can be impossible for them.
> Others can command elderly people to "get down on the ground" ( to look
> under bushes), as though they were teenagers, and not acknowledging that
> this can also often be an impossible requirement, and that getting up again
> is usually a worse ordeal than getting down. I can recall two different
> guides who did this to people on trips I've been on. It puts one off from
> ever using those guides again or recommending anyone else to. Some guides
> unrealistically expect clients to be as physically active as they are. Some
> people may dismiss these problems as unimportant but a responsible guide
> should develop ways of showing consideration for their older clients and
> maybe generating some return business.
> Tony, the aging crock.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
>  On Behalf Of Denise
> Goodfellow
> Sent: Friday, 25 October 2013 10:19 AM
> To: Birding Aus
> Cc: ; Peter Wood; Ronda Green BSc(Hons); Robyn Stark;
> ; Maree Kerr; Kev
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Hot weather and birders
> Recently the issue of tourism and hot weather was raised on Radio National.
> Quite often I've been in the field with other guides who've either taken
> people out in very hot, humid weather or who said they would have no
> problems doing so.  One was a bus driver (who'd just started guiding as
> well) who, if he'd had his way, would have taken a group of American
> university students on a hike around the Kakadu sandstone in such weather.
> The professor in charge agreed with him and it was only after I (their
> guide/lecturer) refused to go that he backed down.
> On another occasion a senior lady showed obvious signs of heat stress after
> a long hike, but the guide appeared not to notice.
> This issue is even more urgent now, with more hot days (we've probably had a
> record number of fire ban days this Dry Season).
> So please, if you're a visiting birder raise this issue with your guide or
> operator.  
> Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
> PO Box 71,  Darwin River,
> NT 0841
> 043 8650 835
> PhD candidate, SCU
> Vice-chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia
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