|Subject:||On a recent message of mine|
|From:||"Philip Veerman" <>|
|Date:||Sun, 29 Apr 2012 15:04:06 +1000|
It has been pointed out that in a message of mine on Thursday, 26 April, 2012 11:27 PM about the "Whistler Reporting Rates" that in describing Birds of Canberra Gardens I used 3 words that, on the basis of advice I have received, such words are reasonably considered as not suitable for use to the email list. So I apologise to the list for my indiscretion of use of words that are unpleasant and unhelpful there. Indeed the sentence was not particularly relevant to the theme being discussed, so probably should not have been included there. Also that these ideas, stated as facts, are my opinions, based on my long history and knowledge of the project and publications about it. Of course I know that people contributed in good faith to that book and could feel annoyed that someone so involved in the project uses those terms. Indeed some aspects of that book are good (the photos, some of the species texts, etc.). Obviously I do know that the role of that book was not primarily to give all the details of the GBS, to answer all technical questions.
Also it was not quite fair or complete for me to write that: "There is no other data against which to measure, validate or compare these things." Indeed we do have other sources of data from COG general records and woodland bird surveys etc. that can tell a related story about the trends for the birds and these can be considered together. Some of which Paul had put together. Also other sources such as the New Atlas of Australian Birds. That was due to thinking narrowly about the comparisons. My point was that, these data are harder to analyse and certainly not directly comparable because the input methods are different and have more variables. So they are only comparable at the broadest levels. The GBS data are the best set of local baseline information we have on the issue.
I also correct my error of using the word "data" as singular instead of plural. I find that is an easy mistake to make. Indeed the first two editions of The GBS Report had that mistake throughout the text, as far as I recall. I fixed it in all occurrences in the third edition.
I also made a mistake in typing the book's title as Birds in Canberra Gardens. That should be Birds of Canberra Gardens.
I also hope people didn't think I was saying that the text in regard to these two particular species was deficient. Indeed most of the species texts of Birds of Canberra Gardens are still fairly close to the original draft texts that I wrote in 1999.
It was a late night and rather hurried message, done trying to explain complicated things yet again.
One contributor pointed out to me in response to that message that: "May I suggest you change the font size in your emails. For me it is barely readable." That seems odd to me. Does anyone else have that problem? I am reluctant to make the font size bigger.
Others may disagree but it is my position that: Birds of Canberra Gardens V2 should have followed reasonable process, as would be expected of any publication with an intent of informing. That would be to state that a full history and description of the GBS and full details of acknowledgements as to who contributed what, how and when, to set up the survey, provide and input the data and build and analyse the database, has already been provided in The GBS Report and give the full citation to it. By all means provide a minimal summary of that information to assist the reader of just that book, or even something quite different if there is benefit in doing so, ensuring that it is consistent with the known evidence. Having provided that link, it is my position that Birds of Canberra Gardens V2 should have then confined any further acknowledgements to personnel involved and history achieved, to the post 2002 developments only and not attempt to rewrite history. For what it is worth, I offer the suggestion to anyone who may have doubts, to compare the two versions of history between these publications, with the original documentation and known history to see which one is accurate and complete.
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