To: "Shirley Cook" <>, "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: afo
From: "Ross Macfarlane" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 15:51:40 +1100
There is definitely a place for amatuer observations as they (we) see things the researchers don't always see. I can think of a couple of examples of my Dad's (Neil Macfarlane). I have a copy somewhere of one jointly written with Jack Hayward & published in The Victorian Naturalist in the early 70s, re the changed behaviour of black-shouldered kites in a mouse plague.

The other was a letter published by the Vic Babbler about a year ago. That was in response to an article about the decline of quail . Dad had undertaken a project for Birds On Farms & in about 250 20-minute, 2-hectare searches at 8 (?) sites in NW Victoria & SW NSW over 2 years - in which he recorded quail just twice (and yet the hunting season continues - another story!) He was able to offer his own insights re the impact of changed land use (continuous cropping instead of rotation of pasture / fallow / crop, etc.)

So there is a place for it, & it would be good to have it captured in a formal way and accessible to everyone in the country, including the reseachers - which may not be achieved by publishing in Vic Babbler, which is published by BA Vic Group & distributed with Wingspan to Victorian BA members only.

Ross Macfarlane

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