John Weigel

To: 'Peter Shute' <>, 'Anne Brophy' <>
Subject: John Weigel
From: Tony Russell <>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2016 22:45:52 +0000
Were they ever practical ? Or of any use whatsoever ?  Surely only the 
attention seeking misdirected aspirations of the person with too much time and 
money to expend are involved. It's just a silly " I'm better than you" game and 
the money would be better given to a deserving charity ( and for the person to 
get a job).


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of 
Peter Shute
Sent: 19 May 2016 21:11
To: Anne Brophy
Cc: Birding Aus; Tim
Subject: John Weigel

I haven't read Kingbird Highway, but I see that it's set in 1973. I believe Roy 
Wheeler and Kevin Bartram, who did their Australian big years not that long 
after, also didn't drive.

I think it would be impossible to break the record these days without a driving 
licence, and a lot of time and a lot of cash, let alone the organisational and 
birding skills and luck that have always been required.

Given the increasing difficulty of breaking the record, can these attempts 
continue indefinitely? Surely a time will come when the personal cost won't be 
worth the tiny chances of beating the record. And surely, as the record gets 
harder to beat, the temptation to take "shortcuts" will increase, and with it 
the need to provide the proof that is being asked of John Wiegel. It's a big 
ask to expect someone to get a photo of every bird, and as we saw in a recent 
Victorian big year, even a photo can be insufficient proof.

Are big years becoming impractical?

Peter Shute

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