Rare bird sitings along Moonee Ponds Ck [whataboutMerri Ck? - both Melbo

To: "Peter Ewin" <>
Subject: Rare bird sitings along Moonee Ponds Ck [whataboutMerri Ck? - both Melbourne area]
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 18:26:53 +1100
I know many birders who won't record ferals - yet how can we track their
spread if the database records don't show them? If you are going to record
observations and log them on an online system then I feel it is only of
value to other birders in the long run if you record EVERYTHING! In fact I
think there are two distinct requirements - a system to record ALL sightings
(which is useful to track distribution and seasonal changes, get a feel for
what a visitor might seem when visiting a reserve etc) and a "twitcher's
line" to flag interesting rarities. The trouble comes when the two purposes
overlap and the former system gets used too much for the latter purpose,
resulting in over and under recordings

On 08/02/07, Peter Ewin <> wrote:

These problems are probably common to all databases dealing with fauna.
Atlas of NSW Wildlife (NOWS's database) for a long time (and possibly
had more records of Glossy Black-cockatoos than Yellow-taileds even though
the latter was listed as a threatened species and the latter not. There
been an emphasis on collecting threatened species records and many
would also only supply them, resulting in many more records than of common
species. The same happened with Owls with many records of Powerful Owls
virtually none of Barking Owls (which in my opinion are far rarer in NSW)
until the latter was listed much later (which then triggered a wave of
records of the latter species).
If I record a threatened species I usually record all the common stuff at
the same site to try and make the database as useful as possible (because
who knows what common species will be regarded as threatened in the

>From: Paul Jacobson <>
>To: "Dave Torr" <>
>Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Rare bird sitings along Moonee Ponds Ck
>[whataboutMerri Ck? - both Melbourne area]
>Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 14:52:52 +1100
>That's a very true observation. A case in point are the Swift Parrot
>sightings in Royal Park. There were a couple of Swifties in Royal  Park
>a period of about 1-2 weeks but they show up as 16% as there  was a
>of reports to birdline, whereas Red-Rump Parrots are  listed as 32% and I
>see anywhere between 2 and a dozen virtually  every day. Similarly Little
>Lorikeets are quite plentiful at present  - watched 6 preening in a tree
>top this morning - but they show up as  4%.
>So it's while probably advisable to treat the % as highly suspect,  but
>still maintain the species lists tend to be fairly accurate.
>Obviously errors do creep in as we all make id mistakes as
Dave  observes.
>Places like Melbourne Zoo are also very difficult as many  free range
>are part of the collection, and the Eremaea list  does seem to include a
>number of collection species.
>On 08/02/2007, at 2:25 PM, Dave Torr wrote:
>>My experience with looking at Eremaea for some sites leads me
to  believe
>>that the rarities get reported rather more readily than the
common  birds
>>not a fault of the software of course but again something than you  need
>>be aware of.
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