resource for overseas and beginning birders

To: "'Dave Torr'" <>
Subject: resource for overseas and beginning birders
From: "Paul Dodd" <>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 14:59:36 +1000
Hi Dave,

I can see where you?re going with your site. I like the use of the Google
Maps. I like the idea of the guestbook per site ? I must admit that hadn?t
occurred to me. I think that you definitely need potential species to see at
each site ? this data probably needs to come from the Atlas rather than
Eremaea or Birdpedia, simply for the volume of data. Following on from this
the probability of seeing a particular species at a particular site should
be shown (just the number of times a particular species has been seen at a
survey for the site over the total number of surveys for the site). This
would start to give the same sort of results that Paul Osborn mentioned in
his response. Once you have species data you could change the markers that
are used to highlight those sites with the greatest number of species.

Your points about the differences between printed matter (a book) and an
online database are well noted. As the owner of a software company myself, I
should be a little more tolerant ? I do like the idea of something tangible
in my hands, though! However, you?re quite right about books dating.

Anyway, I?ll keep my eye on the site and give you any other feedback

All the best,


From: Dave Torr 
Sent: Tuesday, 31 July 2007 10:45 AM
To: Paul Dodd
Cc: Birding-aus; Rosemary Royle
Subject: resource for overseas and beginning birders

I certainly agree with most if not all of what you say Paul and have been
working for some time on a website ( ) which will try and
tackle some of the issues you raise. (It's still very much under
development!)  Books tend to be very well researched by someone  who is
dedicated to getting that book to market and so are usually great sources of
information - but in an era of rapid development and climate change one has
to ask how long they are relevant for - I have certainly been to places
recommended in "Where to Bird" books and found a housing development. The
web provides an opportunity for constant updates BUT is only useful of
course if people actually update the information!
The site (which requires the use of a reasonably modern browser and probably
a broadband connection) contains an interactive map of Australia. On it may
be displayed all of the bird clubs that I know about, all of the Eremaea and
Birdpedia sites (thanks to Richard & Margaret and Martyn), "Local Birders"
(who are people who willing to give advice and guidance about their area)
and user-created locations - I have populated it with a few sites of my own,
but any registered user may add and edit sites. Each site also has a
guestbook for comments,
Much remains to be done:
? Eremaea and Birdpedia often both have references for the same place and -
with the exception of the Western Treatment Plant, Werribee (probably the
best place to look at on the system) and a couple of others - I have not
fixed this problem.
? Eremaea references tend to be for 10 minute grid cells, and thus most
sites are not accurately placed on the map.
? I do not currently get updates from Eremaea and Birdpedia as I have yet to
work out how to do this
? If you add a site it does not get added to Eremaea or Birdpedia
? You cannot enter sightings via the site
? You cannot search for the sites where a species has been seen
? There is no access to the BA Atlas data (I haven't asked yet!)
There is a lot of data to display (around 10,000 sites) so it can be a bit
confusing but I hope it is a start. I aim to keep developing it (when I am
not out birding!) but its ultimate success depends on the willingness of
birders to use it and add data and keep information up to date!

Anyway - comments welcome (I am going birding for 19 days starting next Wed
so don't expect responses in that time). As I said - it is under development
and there almost certainly are bugs, but it's a start.....


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