Rarities Committees (long)

To: <>
Subject: Rarities Committees (long)
From: "Hugo Phillipps" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 11:39:46 +1100
Hi everybody -

I would just like to endorse the sentiments expressed by Nikolas Haass
regarding rarities committees, which I consider equally apply to BARC.  I
would add that having a submission not accepted (not the same as rejected)
is a lot better than than not making one in the first place - because the
information on the sighting, however imperfect, is at least on the record
and may be reconsidered later.  Also, several not-quite-adequate submissions
on a particular species may stimulate people into establishing better
criteria for identification as well as alerting us to further possible
sightings.  I also cannot agree with Keith Weekes about weakening the system
to allow for false positives; that way leads directly to loss of

The answer to the rhetorical question asked by Nikolas, 'What is wrong with
Australia’s birders’ attitude toward Rarities Committees?' may be that the
very low density of birders on the ground in Australia generally has allowed
just a few egos (in the absence of regular toughening by critical peer
review) to become too easily bruised - as well as to become prone to
conspiracy theories.

I say submit and be damned.


Hugo Phillipps
Queenscliff, Vic

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