Re: birding-aus a birder's responsibility

To: <>, <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus a birder's responsibility
From: Rob & Camilla Leask <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 18:16:48 +1000
Rod Gardner wrote:
Finally, and a bit defensively, I have to say that I only make public
(onbirdline, birding-aus) birds I'm 100% sure of (well, maybe the odd 99%er
gets through). I've seen birds such as Grey Ternlet or Streaked Shearwater that
I haven't reported simply because I was only 95% sure.
{records}.... and as far as I know never been accepted! But at least _I'm_ sure
of them.

> Rod Gardner

I have to agree with Rod here. There are many birds that I am 90% (or more)
sure that I have seen, but they are certainly not "ticked" on any of my bird
lists. My wife and I have bird watched in 12 countries, but only 100%
certainties go down as having been seen.
There appears to be a breed of {often self-proclaimed} "experts" who, whilst
not at the spot where a particular bird was seen, endeavours to disparage the
sighting, often, it would seem, because he/she was not there and has never seen
that bird in the area!
To give an example, I give a report from time to time on the Canberra
Bird-line. My wife and I had camped on Weddin Mountain and related the birds
seen over the weekend.
A week later I listened to the Bird-line and heard that my report of a
particular bird was seen as "very dubious" by an "expert" on the area, who
needless to say had never spotted that bird there, but had then caught one in a
mist net a couple of days later! So our 100% certainty, seen at a distance of
20 metres in good light, was now only acceptable because the "expert" had seen
one himself ! Frankly, I couldn't give a damn about his opinion. To quote Rod
Gardner......."but at least I'm sure of them".
I have also read on Birding-Aus some people casting doubts on others sightings,
even though they were nowhere near the area. We usually try to avoid other
bird-watchers...too often we have come across the type who tries to show off,
or looks to see if one has cheap or expensive binoculars {often used as status
symbols).We have also met some very nice birdos, to be fair!!

                  Rob Leask

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