birding-aus Recording of rarities

Subject: birding-aus Recording of rarities
From: Tony Russell <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 13:54:03 +0900
Hi folks, Rarities reporting, Oh gawd.

                Like a few others have stated already, I had no intention of 
caught up in this recording of rarities debate, but find that I have a
point of view on it as yet unstated by others. Some of you won't like it,
others may agree with me. I don't much care.
                I am, I guess, one of Peter Menkhorst's "recreational birders", 
a fact
for which I make no apologies.I know there are thousands more in the same
category out there in the birding world.
                Whilst not in any sense devaluing the fine work done by 
scientific workers ( and the rarities committee) in the cause of
conservation,on the contrary I admire and praise them for the essential job
they do, but for me, personally, birdwatching is something else. 
        It provides me with a fervent compulsion to get out there and find birds
which perhaps I haven't seen before or which I haven't seen for some time,
or perhaps in a particular area; or perhaps it's a subspecies which I
haven't yet caught up with. This is called "ticking" isn't it! I love doing
this with my friends and associates at every opportunity.
        But don't deny the "ticker" the personal feelings of elation and
achievement in finding new birds. No value to conservation of course,
except perhaps in the sense that maybe some of the conservation work is
then seen to be succeeding. But the sheer joy of being out in the bush,
away from all the man made detritus of the cities, enjoying what little we
have left of our nature given surroundings is what makes it for me as a
birdwatcher. Yes, I want the scientific bit to be given more impetus by
solid research which hopefully will then convince politicians (steeped
mainly in economics and votes and their egos and their superannuation), to
make laws and spend money on conservation issues. But I don't have the
training, skills, or personal inclination to spend my retirement years
those scientific pursuits. I want to get out and observe birds, enjoy
myself, and discuss with others where I've seen what. ( I'm also a regional
organiser for the atlas project, that's about as scientific as I want to get).
        Personally, I don't care very much whether someone's alleged sighting 
accepted by the rarities committee or not. What I'm more concerned about is
which of the little beauties can I get to see. 
        I consider the reports in Galah concerning the acceptance or rejection 
"rare" sightings to be interesting, but really just a matter of academic
debate with the usual egos and reputations at stake. Ok if that's what you
are into, but personally I'm not, my ego's intact without all that, and I
suspect many others hold similar views. ( Well, I hope they do, my ego
needs at least some propping up I suppose).

How's this for a summary?:  Conservation is an absolutely mandatory and
crucial activity, but then so is the enjoyment of nature by humans.

Cheers. Tony Russell.
Tony Russell,
45, Ridgefield Ave.,
Adelaide, South Australia
Ph:  08 8337 5959
To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to

Include ONLY "unsubscribe birding-aus" in the message body (without the

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • birding-aus Recording of rarities, Tony Russell <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU