For all those on the list who are bored to death with this topic, offended by
some of the posts, or just want to get back to birding, I humbly apologise.
I dont post all that often, but have watched the debate go to and fro and just
cannot sit on my hands any longer. Maybe it comes from some necessary
involvement in ethics in my career - forgive the affliction, I dont think it
can be cured.
My (I hope) objective view is that nearly everyone is right - from their
perspective - and I would hate to see acrimony or wrong thinking get in the way
of our collective passion for the outdoors and its winged inhabitants.
The problem surely is not:
That we are blessed in Australia with fantastic opportunities to see
significant biodiversity in interesting places - and therefore that somehow
makes arrangements we make for our birding adventures "different".
That commercial operators are entitled to make a profit (it's what they do for
a living!) - most are terrifc, good on 'em and we make our choices based on
cost, quality and references and we have better opportunities as a result. May
their businesses thrive to show more people the wonders available.
That many people devote time, effort and great passion in helping us all expand
our horizons - we are grateful to them for that. They are entitled to cover
their costs for doing so
That we are discussing a one day pelagic with burley, a trip to Cocos or a
drive down the Canning Stock Route - that's just an issue of scale.
That we are all enriched by the presence of mentors, guides and experience at
various points in our birding journeys.
The problem surely is:
That sensible and appropriate honesty, ethics and transparency should go with
any commercial transaction if we have a modicum of common sense and wish to
have trouble free enjoyment.
Sadly, it is easy for doubt to creep in if we dont, so why not just spell it
out nice and clear up front. It's just a sensible thing to do.
We are probably no different to any large slice of the population and there
will be a very tiny percentage of our number who may try it on, or be just a
little cute, so why do we not just expect a standard which prevents it?
There's no point all you fabulous and generous people getting a bit hurt and
justifying your personal efforts and contributions. In most cases we know,
love, respect and appreciate you for doing it.
As I read it, you weren't the subject of the original post.
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