paying for birding trips

Subject: paying for birding trips
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 18:44:28 +0800

I can't see what the problem is. If you think the price is fair then go on the trip. If you think it is too expensive, then don't go. Who cares whether the organiser pays or not. As for posting on birding-aus, I asked for Russell's permission first.

Personally, I have been to Ashmore three times, and I hope the trip goes ahead again this year. One of the attractions of the trip, is that George and Mike will be on the trip. There is nothing worse than seeing a bird, and not being able to ID it. George and Mike know the area. They know the birds. They know the best strategy for using the time on the trip. And having a group means that we maximise our chances of seeing everything of interest.

Similarly, I will be on Richard Baxter's trip to Cocos and Christmas next March. I have been to Christmas four times. But I have never birded on Cocos. Yes, I could spend a week and try and work it out (as Richard has in the past), or I can spend three days and maximise my time in the best places. And having a group makes it possible to get to South Island, or possibly even North Keeling Island. And again having many eyes means it is more likely I will see everything of interest. For me, the price of the trip is fair. QED for me. It doesn't matter whether Richard is paying or not, and if the latter whether he is covering his costs or making a profit.

As for pelagics, I have organised the Perth trips over the past 12 years. I pay the same as everyone else, but I do keep a record of all expenses. I maintain an Excel spreadsheet. I now have a float of about $400 built up over 28 trips. This means that instead of rounding the cost per person up to the next $5, I can choose to round it down, or I can stand the cost if someone pulls out too late. Or I can pay for the burley for an Albany trip. Or absorb the incidental costs if the trip gets cancelled. And of course, the deposit of $500 is due about 4 months before the trip. I give a discount to John Darnell, even though he doesn't want it, as I want him on the trip to help identify the birds, and he puts a lot of effort into preparing the burley.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email : ===============================

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