"Val Curtis" <>, "Birding-Aus" <>
Mon, 3 Jul 2006 23:07:19 +1000
Hi Val and Mike,
This is an important issue that you have raised because important sightings
may not get on the record if unusual records are dismissed out of hand. On
the other side of the coin to be too accepting can mean that the reliability
of the the databases that the records end up in can be undermined.
People who think that a record may be in error need to approach the observer
in a diplomatic and friendly (and supportive) way and people being asked for
more details shouldn't get offended too easily. I have offended people by
just asking for more details of a sighting so when I need to follow up a
reported sighting now I am nervous about offending the observer.
Science is all about questioning but it is not about trying to undermine or
offend other people. If you know you are right about an ID stick to it and
don't get offended if someone questions it. If you are totally confident
about your ID then you should be able to provide the evidence to convince
others. The rarities committees are a valuable way of having unusual
I have read postings on Birding-aus where people have been too harsh on
others, particularly new subscribers, so if you feel offended don't drop off
and disappear into the ether, stand and defend you point of view. There
will be others who will support you.
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