Yes, you get a different perspective when you look at the Birdforum
thread on the subject.
"presumably the 'they' you referred to are the newspaper reporters,
not the twitchers. The report also reached the local news, where the
term 'bird-lovers' was used instead of twitchers and apprently this
was the first Rose-coloured Starling ever seen in Britain - later
changed to currently in Britain - both of which were, as usual
I saw the bird last Sunday and although showing to a few feet (yes I
photographed it) it was feeding constantly on insects, catching one
about every 30 secs.
By the way does anybody know if it was actually taken by a cat?"
"As one of the people whose gardens it visited during its stay I can
confirm it was very tame, and that it was indeed killed by a cat, and
a very heavy rainstorm. In fact it would probably have been killed a
day or two earlier if it hadn't been for birders scaring off moggies
left right and centre. The bird was weak when it arrived - had two
huge ticks on it. It was also unconcerned about the presence of humans
(possibly because of where it was born - though the Mongolia bit is
something of a stretch!) and fed happily around people. Lies, damn
lie, and The Sun (and Radio 4, The Times, The Mail, The Telegraph etc
"There are tw*ts in all walks of life. But as far as I saw, there were
no major idiot moments around the starling. The bird was feeding
fairly comfortably around people, taking no notice of them and
sometimes coming towards them. There were plenty of secluded areas it
could have gone if it was worried. Basically, a cat mauled it and
after that it was never going to be able to survive the torrential
downpour of Monday."
On 19/01/2009, at 2:55 PM, Carl Clifford wrote:
If you Google "rose starling dead twitchers" you will find quite a
few links to the story on a variety of sites and not just from the
UK, so I think that there is probably a good deal of truth in the
story. I personally find it quite plausible, based on my experiences
with other birders in several countries. I have even seen what I
thought were responsible birders throw rocks into bushes to flush a
recalcitrant bird which had the hide to regard its own safety more
highly than the birders desire to see it. This sort of behaviour is
why I generally prefer to bird on my own.
On 19/01/2009, at 3:27 PM, L&L Knight wrote:
There is limited information in the article. Was the bird only
viewed by 80 twitchers over a three-day period [a rather low number
for a rarite in the UK] or were there up to 80 twitchers at a time
honing in on the bird? How close were the twitchers getting to the
bird? Were they entering people's yards to get close to it?
You might certainly get an interesting scenario where a bird with a
territorial call turned up in an area of limited visibility and
several twitchers independently visiting the site started to play
call recordings at the same time.
On 19/01/2009, at 11:40 AM, Carl Clifford wrote:
There is a down side to all-and-sundry knowing about a vagrant
species turning up.
Not that I am saying that any member of the list would behave in
this manner, would they?
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