A great day's birding

Subject: A great day's birding
From: Gordon Claridge <>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 23:09:42 +0000
I think there are other reasons for taking a camera along on birding outings.

The first is that, for birds we are unfamiliar with, a photo can provide a 
confirmation of a species sighting.

Second, where records are submitted to a database that might be used for 
planning, research, conservation management, etc. (e.g. the Queensland 
Government’s WildNet database), records need to be confirmed.  For those 
recognised as experienced birders or researchers there would be no requirement 
for a photo, but this excludes data from a lot of others - and other areas 
which could be useful for the above purposes.  Even if photos are not submitted 
to such databases, if they are stored in a way that links them to a location 
(assuming no GPS in the metadata) then they can be produced for appropriate 
purposes in the future.

Third (and this is a bit of a plea to birders to notice things other than 
birds) birders are getting into places where there is the possibility of 
recording the presence of other groups, including those of current conservation 
interest.  For example our community group’s koala survey and mapping program 
in the Lockyer Valley Region is getting an increasing number of koala records 
(photos with lat./long.) from birders as they become aware of our program.  And 
it doesn’t have to be something threatened - there is a dearth of location 
records for most of the common species (macropods for example), simply because 
they are currently common.  If/when they start to become threatened that local 
distribution data may be important in understanding causes and in formulating 
recovery programs.  These photos (and of course those of birds) can be lodged 
with databases such as Bowerbird and the Atlas of Living Australia.

Gordon Claridge

> On 18 Dec 2017, at 4:14 pm, MADELON LANE <> wrote:
> Getting the photos has stood us in good stead as we slowly go from
> beginners to handy birders. At first we really would not have been able to
> trust our field IDs, photos have taught us the basics of ID, to look for
> the features in plumage, skin colour etc etc. Several species have been
> discovered as we looked at our pics and found for example 2 different
> Thornbills. Same with shorebirds. Our field skills are better now that we
> have seen over 450 species but it is still a good aim. I must admit I have
> started noting “Seen and heard, no pic”on some species as it reduces the
> frustration level a bit with things like Scrub Birds and Bristlebirds. I
> only refer to Trev as the cameraman as he has skills with the camera that I
> do not have and with the sighter he is very quick even with finding birds
> using it. We certainly are a team and all our birds are a combination of
> both our skills. But as the years go on we will be trying to adapt our
> methods to pick up missing species from the list.
> Cheers Madelon
> On Mon, 18 Dec 2017 at 1:29 pm, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
>> Just for you.....
>> I will respond to one thing. That is "Trevor has a saying that if we
>> didn’t get a photo we didn’t see it."
>> That is a nonsense. I am 60 now and have been involved with bird watching
>> / study since a child. Only for about a couple years in the late 1970s did
>> I try taking bird photos. I found it too expensive and difficult. Of course
>> no such thing as digital cameras then. Sure these days if you have the
>> resources, photos help and can be their own priority but they are not
>> fundamental to the study or ID of birds.
>> It is curious that you write of a "cameraman" in terms of having a
>> separate person in that role......
>> As for Button-quails, normally seen as they fly away. No hope of getting
>> to see them flying by telescope, yes on rare occasions can be found walking
>> or sitting but I think it would be extremely rare that you get a telescope
>> onto them.
>> Philip
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf
>> Sent: Monday, 18 December, 2017 11:04 AM
>> To: Peter Shute; 
>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] A great day's birding
>> Thanks Peter,
>> No I didn’t realise that the email was not to whole group, will watch out
>> for that next time, pretty new to this list, thanks for letting me know. If
>> I send this to the group as well by specifying it in the To section it may
>> work, will try that.
>> We have the rifle sight on the camera on the tripod so get most of the
>> advantages that way but it would help with that awful situation when you
>> are dancing around in frustration as the cameraman just cannot find the
>> bird! And my directions are not working! Usually when you have a new bird
>> too. And I have the advantage if he finds the bird, once you see the bird
>> in the viewscreen it is easier to get it in the bins.
>> Cheers Madelon
>> On Mon, 18 Dec 2017 at 10:33 am, Peter Shute <> wrote:
>>> A scope is just higher magnification than binoculars, usually at least
>>> double, but often quadruple or more. Only useful when you need a closer
>>> look, and mostly used for waders because they sit still long enough.
>>> Sometimes people use them on birds in trees, but often they're moving
>>> around too  much.
>>> You need a tripod with a scope because they're not much use unless
>> they're
>>> held steady, and they're hard to aim without one. A big advantage is that
>>> you can aim it, then let another person have a look. You can't do that
>> with
>>> binoculars, unless you've put them on a tripod.
>>> Maybe next time you run into someone using a scope, you could ask for a
>>> look through it. That would help you make up your mind.
>>> By the way, you replied just to me, not the whole list. Not sure if that
>>> was intentional. Others on the list might have more information for you.
>>> Peter Shute
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: MADELON LANE 
>>>> Sent: Monday, 18 December 2017 10:18 AM
>>>> To: Peter Shute <>
>>>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] A great day's birding
>>>> Hi Peter,
>>>> Like Carl we do not have a scope and wonder what they are better for? I
>>>> imagine when you are at a relatively fixed point and want to look at
>> far
>>> off
>>>> waders etc. As a couple we have me with the binoculars and Trev with
>> the
>>>> camera so do most of our new and difficult IDs back home in the
>> evening.
>>> We
>>>> cover quite a lot of distance sometimes and the extra weight would need
>>> to
>>>> be useful, or we would certainly benefit from getting better at lying
>> in
>>> wait
>>>> for birds and maybe the scope would help with that? Or would we end up
>>>> stuffing around with equipment too much when we should be continuing to
>>>> improve our field observation skills? Trevor has a saying that if we
>>> didn’t get a
>>>> photo we didn’t see it, which keeps us honest on new birds but raises
>> the
>>>> bar on things like Button Quail (none so far!).
>>>> Cheers Madelon
>> --
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