<>, "Frank O'Connor" <>
"Margaret Cameron" <>
Tue, 18 Dec 2007 14:18:17 +1000
Congratulations Frank on an excellent letter.
I think BARC does a very good job - and 100% of the BARC submissions (two)
with which I have been associated have been knocked back, so I'm obviously
not in their club!
BARC is absolutely right to expect a good field description - after all, you
may be making history and they are responsible for legitimising your claim.
I haven't read any failed BARC submissions (not even those two) so I can't
comment on them, but I have read lots of Unusual Record Forms of various
kinds and am frequently disappointed at the standard of information
observers think is adequate. Some amount to "I know it is x because it was
like the picture in the book", others simply transcribe the field guide
description (and yes I've checked). A long time ago a BARC member described
a submitted bird as "consisting only of a flying field mark".
I am frequently in awe not only of Mike Carter's knowledge but of his
thorough and systematic field notes, and reading the articles based on his
notes and his BARC submissions that he publishes in Australian Field
Ornithology has caused me to improve my own note taking (and not before
time!). If I see another potential rarity, I hope it won't fail because of
my inadequate observation and description.
I agree with Hugo and Frank - if you think you've got a rarity, make a
submission. Write as full a description as you can of what you see, as far
as possible on the spot, including behaviour, and definitely consult a BARC
member for help in preparing your submission if you are doubtful about what
to do. Be prepared to wait for BARC's response - any process involving a
number of people is slow especially if they are people who frequently travel
to distant places.
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