John Weigel

To: Denise Goodfellow <>
Subject: John Weigel
From: Eric Jeffrey via Birding-Aus <>
Date: Fri, 20 May 2016 01:16:16 +0000
I doubt there are many top world birders who have not used guides. There is a 
big difference between Vardaman and Snetsinger. Vardaman used guides to show 
him birds and tell him what they were. Snetsinger mainly used guides for the 
logistics of getting places. She really studied the birds and often knew them 
as well as the guides. She was quite meticulous.

Eric Jeffrey

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 19, 2016, at 8:54 PM, Denise Goodfellow <> 
> wrote:
> One of those I surveyed for the PhD stated: "I think foreign birding is 
> rather spoon fed, a person doesn’t have to know the birds, id (identify) 
> them, or find them.  To me listing them doesn’t really matter because of 
> this.  If you have enough money and time (and motivation), you have a huge 
> list".  
> Tthis lady may have been referring to those ‘big’ listers who used guides, 
> for example Snetsinger and Vardaman, and not those who set out to do it all 
> by themselves.  However, a number of men made similar points.
> The competition involved in listing (Tony’s  'silly " I'm better than you” 
> game') appears to be a big turn off, particularly for women, and may play a 
> part in their lower membership of bodies with a focus on listing, such as the 
> American Birding Association.   
> Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
> PO Box 71
> Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
> 043 8650 835
> PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
> Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
> Nominated by Earthfoot for Condé Nast’s International  Ecotourism Award, 2004.
> With every introduction of a plant or animal that goes feral this continent 
> becomes a little less unique, a little less Australian.
>> On 20 May 2016, at 8:15 am, Tony Russell <> wrote:
>> 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).
>> Tony.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of 
>> Peter Shute
>> Sent: 19 May 2016 21:11
>> To: Anne Brophy
>> Cc: Birding Aus; Tim
>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] 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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