Perth Airport Birding, Kids lists and Northern Pintail

To: "Gemfyre" <>
Subject: Perth Airport Birding, Kids lists and Northern Pintail
From: Allan Richardson <>
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2011 22:16:50 +1000
Hi guys

Everybody's list is a personal thing and from that point an individual can only 
go with those guidelines that feel right from your own personal standard point 
of view. Equally though, there is that comparative (to other folks lists) 
aspect to ones list and therefore a more universal set of listing guidelines is 
adopted by many across the board.

The memory aspect that Nathan brings up is an interesting one that we all have 
had to contend with within our lists. Here i think Belinda makes a valid point, 
there are going to be those times when you cannot remember a particular bird 
you have undeniably seen.

Spare a thought for those folk who have lists not approaching our Australian 
tallies but world lists beyond 5,000. In the discussion below we are broaching 
the early years of birding, in regard to what we should add to our list at the 
beginning of becoming bird aware (how many of us wish that we could recollect 
the first time we actually became aware of knowing what that bird before us 
was). I can get back to about the 200's in my life list, but beyond that it 
will be groupings of birds from holidays in the not dependable order (wish I 
had be more methodical in my notes

What happens at the other end of life though?. Do we lose birds off our lists 
as our memories fade? Many of the records we have made, whether we remember 
them or not will, will be recorded for all and put in print or some other 
records medium - if we forget those, should they be erased - surely not. The 
mind is not infallible, that's why we write things down.

I remember when I first got serious about putting my list together, there were 
birds I couldn't remember and then I found old field notes that had them noted 
carefully. Funny thing is that they were common species for that area, not the 
local icons, so they didn't stand out as the most memorable parts of the 
holiday years later. However my notes were evidence that I'd seen and 
identified them. The event was a fact that I could not deny despite the 
inadequacy of memory. I couldn't really erase the records, because of memory 
failings....could I?

The key here is perhaps not so much the memory, but the event in the beginning. 
Were you able to identify the bird for yourself at the time?(if that is your 
standard), or is there a clear record that you were aware of what the bird 
before you was, if identified by your parents? Maybe this could be a possible 
early threshold of listing? Were you aware of the identity of the bird before 
you and it was recorded as such? Others of course will not be happy unless they 
identify the bird for themselves. 

If however you take good records of what you see - they are certainly an 
undeniable fact, to the greater birding world, so why not yourself?

If there's at least one lesson in this - I guess it's teach the up and coming 
generations to take good field notes and observe the lesson ourselves.

Allan Richardson 

On 10/04/2011, at 4:38 PM, Gemfyre wrote:

> I didn't begin properly birding until I was 24, but had an interest in all 
> things nature for many years, so I could put a lot of common and memorable 
> birds straight onto my life list when I made one up.
> When I was a kid my family used to go on a road trip/holiday every mid-year 
> break.  We went from Perth to Broome when I was 7 and when I was 10 and both 
> times mum insisted I keep a diary (although I just thought it was a hassle at 
> the time).  Some time in 1990 we stayed overnight in Newman and in my diary 
> entry for that day is a badly drawn bird and the comment in the diary "I saw 
> a robin redbreast".  I've coloured in this bird and the way I've coloured it 
> in it could only be a Red-capped Robin!  So even though I didn't even know 
> that particular species existed until another 14 years passed, there was an 
> undisputable sighting of it when I was 10.
> Belinda Forbes
> Stirling W.A.

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