To: "alan morris" <>
Subject: Rarities
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2006 19:32:05 +1000
Whiilst I accept that there is a need for "scientific" proof, of course the
mere presence of a photo or notes does not prove you saw the bird where and
when you claimed. Many of us do not carry cameras and if we see a bird that
we are familiar with we may not even take detailed notes. It could be that
we KNOW the bird as we are used to it from our overseas experience - or it
could be that we have seen the bird in other parts of Aus or in other
seasons and (as we don't all carry the Atlas with us) we only realise it was
"exciting" some time later.

Yet if we report these sightings later they tend to be rejected because of
lack of evidence or because the people who saw it are not "recognised
birders" - so we get discouraged.

I don't know what the answer is - and frankly I am not too concerned. If one
is interested in the general welfare of Aussie birds then detailed
information about the distribution and changes of the common birds is
important. In the scheme of things a Grey-headed Lapwing in NSW (or other
rarities which may or may not be reported and which may or may not be
correctly identified) is of interest to people trying to add to their Aussie
list, but is only significant scientifically if reasonable numbers of the
species turn up - in which case they WILL be correctly reported

On 04/07/06, alan morris <> wrote:

Hi Birders,

I am sorry that Mike Simpson has had a bad experience in reporting
however that is not everyone's experience. I am sure that Karen and Brett
Davis, when reporting their Grey-headed Lapwing, did not feel that they
not accepted because they were not part of the "in crowd".

I am a member of the NSW Ornitholigical Records Appraisal Committee. In
last twelve months we have dealt with records from people who were not
members of mainstream birding groups and their records were accepted. Mind
you a good photograph helps. There were three seperate records of Pied
Imperial Pigeons in that 12 months, one from Millingadi near Bega, one
Port Macquarie and one from Lord Howe Island, all hardly believable and
from well knwon birders!! The key issue is to provide a good written
description of the bird so that 7 out of 8 members of the rarities
(be it BARC, NSW or some other group), will be convinced that that is what
you saw!.

Too often submissions about rarities give great detail about where the
was, what it was doing, the weather, the rainfall pattern, what the
had for breakfast etc but fails to provide a convincing written

So please don't neglect to advise of unusual or suspected rarity
make you sure you provide a good written description of the bird seen, and
if necessary, seek help from a committee member in how to prepare the

However those who read such postings should be encouraging and careful in
their reponse to reports that appear to out of area.

For the record, I accepted the report of the Tree Sparrows at Penrith.

Alan Morris
NSW Annual Bird Report


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