Location, Location (Bird sites)

Subject: Location, Location (Bird sites)
From: Ian May <>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 09:51:13 +0930
Hello Frank

Thanks for your reply. Thanks for permission to post a copy of it 
and my response on the list.

There have been a few replies and comments directly to me, all
positive so far and yes I agree about many of the points you raise.   I
think we will use the Christidis & Boles 1994, list although its main
purpose here will be to give an order to assign dates to separate
species.   As suggested by John Boyce, I will probably drop the most
common and widespread 150 species (subjective guess) from the schedule
so that Silver Gulls, Black Ducks, Willie Wagtails, Black-faced Cuckoo
Shrikes etc. etc. don't take up too much time but any one that does want
to submit on them will be welcome also.   So initially it brings the
total species to deal with down nearer to 650 for a two year project.

The proposal is to deal with one species per day except when there is a
group of little known species or vagrants bunched on the list, but there
should be no reason why the weeks schedule cant be invited in advance.
I like your idea of commencing in different parts of the list at the
same time.  I would encourage sticking to the order shown in the list
because it will enable participants to plan submissions in advance.   It
may be optimistic but if we get too much info too quickly, the project
might run out of steam and become too unwieldy to manage.

I think an important feature to its success will be the development of 
an effective and unique subject header that shows species and
region to aid archive searching.  I hope to get Russell's blessing on
the format before we commence.  He has already suggested one and has
agreed in principle to using the birding-aus mail list for the project.
The requested form should require only a minimal amount of info to get
maximum  participation but if people want to submit extra then that will
be good too but I want to avoid any impression that this project is
trying to take over general birding discussion on the list. The
objective is just to highlight the best spots in the various regions for
each species and to get some more valuable information into the public
arena.  If someone wants to contribute using the header then they would
probably agree to provide information in a consistent form so that the
information can be quickly located.  If they don't use the header then
we can assume that its general birding-aus discussion.

It may be a good idea to schedule in an occasional break for holding a
review, perhaps after one month and then every three months or so.   The
object is for the project to gain its own momentum and to be informal as
much as possible.  Perhaps there is a better word to use than moderator, 
but the project will need someone or two at least to keep it on track.

Not intending to knock the work of Thomas and Thomas, I have often
thought when seeing references to it, that if every body on this list
participated in a project to build such a database using their combined
knowledge, then we would have the most valuable info base where all
sources and contributions are readily identified and acknowledged and if
the project really works, it could be ongoing.

Russell is happy for us to post discussion about this on the list, and
this may avoid duplication of ideas.  I would also welcome any further
comment as all the cards are on the table at present!


Ian May
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