Just like to make an observation relating to accessing private property
- in my experience this is a real issue in Australia. Owners seem to
have some sort of possession fixation relating to their vast, mostly
uninhabitated land! In the UK and Ireland there is a much more flexible,
friendly attitude towards birders and others, such as walkers, accessing
property. In most cases so long as gates are left as found - usually
closed - and stock left unmolested, there is no major drama. Please do
not equate my comments to some one walking through MY front yard - its
not the same, sorry, can't accept that argument. The fact that some
people do access property for the purposes of shooting illegally - that
I can accept - but its usually fairly obvious you're not carrying a
rifle, isn't it?
Anyway - must away - thanks for your time!
Chris's observations regarding the deaths of rare vagrants may, repeat
may, have some truth - however, in general birders are not seen as such
a threat as they often appear here and yes, I too have heard of the
issues on the Scilly Isles, but we are talking extremes here, not the
On Wed, 04 Nov 2009 03:56 +0930, "Denise Goodfellow"
> I'd be interested in seeing Laurie's research. I've some US papers that
> mention this as well.
> I've twice, in 26 years, been guiding birders who have either entered
> private property or gone into sensitive habitat. The last one, a woman
> a few months ago, entered a preschool grounds after a bird. A few have
> disgruntled when I refused to play tapes to call up birds in particular
> The biggest issue in the Top End that I'm aware of is birders entering
> sewage ponds without a permit, resulting in management becoming very
> to the point of threatening to arrest them. Consequently, access to the
> ponds has been further tightened.
> However, in my experience up here, combat or gonzo birders (as they're
> called in the US) tend to put themselves at risk more than the birds, for
> instance insisting on going out when it's very hot and humid. Two, whom I
> refused to accompany one stinking hot afternoon, later collapsed with
> The desire to systematise eg by stamp collecting or twitching, seems to
> be a
> feature of the male brain according to research I've read.
> Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
> PO Box 3460 NT 0832, AUSTRALIA
> Ph. 61 08 89 328306
> Mobile: 04 386 50 835
> Birdwatching and Indigenous tourism consultant
> PhD Candidate
> http://www.theloveofood.com (Rowan Goodfellow Thompson)
> on 3/11/09 9:40 PM, Chris Sanderson at wrote:
> > Hi Tim,
> > I believe in the UK a small number of rare birds have died from constant
> > harassment leading to an inability to feed to recover from a long trip.
> > This is possibly what Peter is referring to? Also I hear from various
> > sources of cases where twitchers (usually identity unknown) have been
> > observed by landholders to tresspass to look for birds. This still appears
> > to be a sadly common occurrence, though as you say, its not fair to tar all
> > twitchers with that brush as I know many who wouldn't enter a property
> > without permission. However those that do give all birders, not just
> > twitchers, a bad name with the general public.
> > I will say this though, a recent study by our own Dr Laurie Knight showed
> > that the more fanatical a twitcher is, the less they care about
> > conservation. That's hard data from a fairly broad survey there (I hope
> > I've paraphrased your work correctly there Laurie, feel free to jump in if
> > I'm misquoting).
> > As for earlier questions about collectors, I'd love to hear from someone in
> > the customs department, but I know for a fact they are still finding living
> > animals being smuggled, and I have little doubt that the same would go for
> > dead animals - there are a lot of people for whom collecting skins/specimens
> > is akin to stamp collecting (or pokemon for the younger people out there
> > reading this...gotta catch em all). Look no further than our own official
> > bodies - out there looking to collect one or several of the newly found
> > Spotted Quail-Thrush in Far North QLD before they even know if its a new
> > species or even how many there are in the population...
> > Back to the point at hand. I thought the objection was over GPS
> > co-ordinates being given in an open online forum. A general location in the
> > email with an offer of directions offline would be fine I would think, as
> > suggested by an earlier poster. At least that means someone wanting to
> > break the law has to leave evidence in the form of an email if they want the
> > details.
> > Regards,
> > Chris
> > On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 6:06 PM, Tim Jones <> wrote:
> >> Peter,
> >> What do the 'fanatical Twitchers' do? I reckon this is mostly just
> >> sensationalised hearsay. I see so much prattle about the terrible harm they
> >> do, but I have yet to see a properly substantiated report of something
> >> which
> >> has had any serious effect on wildlife and I've been on many, many
> >> 'fanatical twitches' in my time.
> >> There are a few people who go a bit too far in their pursuit, but most
> >> 'fanatical twitchers' are also fanatical conservationists and also want
> >> future generations to share their joy of seeing wonderful places and
> >> wonderful wildlife.
> >> I just wish people would get things in proportion. This kind of statement
> >> tars us all with the same brush and just gets us all a bad name.
> >> NB I'm not arguing about the need to be judicious with information.
> >> Cheers
> >> Tim
> >>> From:
> >>> To: ;
> >>> Subject: Re: [SPAM] [Birding-Aus] Australian Painted Snipe in Dubbo
> >>> Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 11:28:29 +1100
> >>> CC: ;
> >>> Hi Peter, my main concern was the Painted Snipe, and yes I do believe
> >> that
> >>> there are people who would take a Painted Snipe for their collection. Its
> >> no
> >>> different than collecting feathers a subject that as been discussed
> >> recently
> >>> on this forum. Collecting feathers appears to be a harmless pastime on
> >> the
> >>> surface but you can imagine someone who as all the feathers of all the
> >>> parrot species except for the Night Parrot. I could easily see such a
> >> person
> >>> trying to find out where to find one and going out and shooting it to get
> >>> the feather.You only have to see what some of the fanatical Twitchers get
> >> up
> >>> to at times to understand the need to be alert to whom you give
> >> information
> >>> to. Thankfully it is only a small minority that are involved in such
> >>> behaviour.