To: "" <>
From: morris <>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 19:47:22 +1000
Hi birders,
Most of us like watching birds for the sake of the birds and there is no
obligation upon us to tell anyone what we saw. However once we are
prepared to go into print and tell "The Bird Observer" or "Birding-aus"
or any other bird group newsletter that we have seen a certain rarity, I
believe that if we are happy to broadcast our observation, then we
should also take the trouble to provide a written description for others
to determine if that is what was seen! The Blue Petrel is a case in
point. Prior to 1999 it had only occurred in NSW on 3 occasions and all
were beach cast and some of the specimens ended up as part of the
collection in the Australian Museum, so that if any one has any doubt
they can see them for themselves. However, in June & July a number of
Blue Petrels have been claimed for pelagic trips off Sydney and
Wollongong and from the mainland. Until today there were only
observations to report but now I understand that a live, beach cast bird
came into the Zoo from Newport Beach (one of Sydney's northern suburbs).
It seems to me that if people want to tell everyone about their Blue
Petrel (or their Antarctic Fulmar, Kerguelen Petrel etc), that the
people willinging to broadcast what they have seen, should also be
prepared to make a submission to a rarities committee. In 1997 (I am
currently preparing the 1997 NSW Bird Report) much publicity was given
to claims of a Great Shearwater off Sydney and Bulwer's Petrel seen on
two occasions of Wollongong, which would first records for NSW for the
species. It now appears that no submissions were made to either the
NSWORAC or the BARAC for these birds, and I am am left with the
difficult task of deciding what do with the records because there is no
submission, photos, notes etc of the observations. In both cases they
will be treated as "unconfirmed" because there is no information for the
records to be treated otherwise. Which brings me to Edwin Vella
reporting on what his mate (in isolation) has seen off Long Reef.  If
his mate is happy to claim on Birding-aus that he has seen a very rare
seabird, will his mate be making a submission to a rarties committee
with notes, photographs, sketches etc?

Alan Morris
Records Officer

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