Re: Graham Buchan's mid-size gull

To: "'Tony Ashton'" <>, <>
Subject: Re: Graham Buchan's mid-size gull
From: "Bob Cook" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 22:41:58 +1100

I surmise that you are referring to perhaps "strict" criteria placed by BARC
on acceptance of rare sightings.  My comments are based on this premise.

I believe Graham has taken the absolutely perfect approach here.  He has
reported the sighting, with extensive descriptive detail and possibilities
that could fit.  He has asked others to keep an eye out for this bird,
hoping that someone may get further/better views and/or photos and he has
given quite valid reasons for why he will not make a submission to BARC,

There have been previous discussions on the subject of BARC acceptance /
rejection and also on delays in consideration of submissions.  I believe
these have been well answered by representative(s) of BARC and I find those
explanations quite correct and reasonable.  It is difficult to get a
submission accepted and rightly so - without diligent and convincing
consideration, the risk is that many unsure, and sometimes incorrect
sightings could end up being "officially" recorded as a permanent record,
thus devaluing and bringing into question the formal records of sightings.  

While this may result in genuine sightings not being recognized, that is a
far better outcome than the other.  

The work done by BARC is voluntary and done by people who are donating their
own time (that otherwise could be used looking for their own rarities!)
Their rules are strong and fair and we should be grateful for their efforts.

What anyone, Graham included, does with their own rare sighting is
completely up to them.  It can be made a personal "tick", a campfire
discussion topic, a purpose for ongoing dedicated searching and, as in the
case here, publicized in the hope that further sightings will be made.

I see no problem.

Bob Cook

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Tony Ashton
Sent: Saturday, 31 January 2009 7:54 PM
Subject: Re: Graham Buchan's mid-size gull

Hi all,

I cannot even define the problem, let alone offer a fix, but the tone of
Graham Buchan's report suggests there's something about Australian birding
that would benefit from a wide airing of views and some balanced discussion.

What think others?

Cheers,  Tony Ashton  (Tyto Tony)

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