Yes David, I do have entirely too much time on my hands, thanks to two serious
heart diseases. I was given ten years to live in 2003, so on the other hand,
you might say that this excess time problem will soon be solved.
On a serious note though, no amount of hand wringing and breast beating on B-A
will not modify those types of behaviour that Bob described. As a former
regulatory compliance officer, I can tell you that a visit from a person in
uniform, who asks interesting questions and Writes them down in their notebook,
is a great behaviour modifier. The vast majority of people that I have visited
for such a chat, in which I quietly explained what the possible effects on
their finances would be if they continued to behave in such a way, did not need
my counseling services again. I preferred the softly, softly approach, much
more productive. I always carried a big stick in the back pocket.
On 27/08/2012, at 5:19 PM, David Stowe <> wrote:
> Carl you obviously have too much time on your hands.
> Seriously, (not condoning this particular incident at all) are there
> honestly no bigger issues that we should be focussing on that this?
> Surely the world and politicians have alot more important things to think
> Let's focus on the fact that National Parks are being passed back to grazing
> and half of them turned into game reserves rather than worrying politicians
> with people at least trying to enjoy the outdoors without killing them!
> As has been asked for many times - lets see the scientific proof that call
> playback has a detrimental effect. If it indeed does, let's compare it to the
> damage done by deforestation and the points mentioned above.
> Honestly its no wonder there aren't many birdwatchers - as soon as people get
> into it they are judged like never before by people with far superior morals.
> Even just birdwatching for ones own personal enjoyment isn't good enough for
> some on this forum.
> On 27/08/2012, at 3:40 PM, Carl Clifford <> wrote:
>> I would have cheerfully have asked the photographers if they would mind
>> posing for a photograph, with all of their gear and noted down their car
>> registration numbers. I would then send the images and rego numbers,
>> accompanied by a statutory declaration setting out what I had seen, to the
>> appropriate Minister, the shadow minister and local member of Parliament. In
>> the covering letter, I would politely ask if the Department was going to
>> take any action against the offenders.
>> I think that this type of behaviour is utterly unconscionable and should be
>> dealt with to the full extent of the law.
>> Carl Clifford
>> On 27/08/2012, at 11:34 AM, "Robert Inglis" <> wrote:
>>> I know this is a topic which has been discussed here before and that it can
>>> easily be classed as “controversial” but an incident I witnessed recently
>>> has prompted me to believe the subject needs to be revisited.
>>> Bird-photography is my principal birding interest and recently I visited a
>>> bird hide I have used on numerous occasions and where I have spent many
>>> hours quietly photographing some of the quite uncommon and wary species
>>> which, from time to time, visit this wetland situated in a Conservation
>>> Park. Some of those species are extremely wary and shy and are liable to
>>> react immediately to any movement or loud noises coming from the hide.
>>> Generally they dart back into the thick vegetation around the wetland and
>>> often do not emerge again for hours.
>>> On this particular day, on entering the hide, I was confronted by a
>>> spectacle which I found quite disturbing and which has left me with a
>>> feeling of bitter disappointment and despair.
>>> I won’t go into the finer details but suffice it to say I found a small
>>> group of photographers excitedly and vigorously attempting to photograph
>>> birds from the hide while using continuous and very loud call playback to
>>> encourage the birds to come closer. A very brief conversation indicated
>>> that the target species was the jacanas I had just seen fly past the hide,
>>> undoubtedly the same pair of jacanas which had been breeding with mixed
>>> success in that location for the past couple of years.
>>> Rather than confront the photographers (I have learnt from experience that
>>> confrontation, gentle or assertive, is invariably met with aggression) and
>>> because I was being deafened by the volume of the call playback I
>>> immediately left the hide and returned home.
>>> Over quite a number of years I have taken many thousands of bird-photos but
>>> I have never used call playback to attract my subjects; that doesn’t mean I
>>> am totally against the use of call playback but I do believe that, when it
>>> is used, it should be used very carefully and sparingly.
>>> For that reason I offer for the consideration of all birders, including
>>> bird-photographers, the following suggestions for guidelines on using call
>>> playback as well as how to conduct oneself in a bird hide.
>>> Call playback: (keeping in mind that the welfare of the bird is paramount)
>>> - Never use call playback in areas where breeding and/or nesting is known
>>> or could reasonably be expected to be actually or likely to be happening;
>>> - Use call playback sparingly in all locations and particularly in
>>> locations which receive high levels of birdwatching/photography traffic;
>>> - Never use call playback in bird hides as these are locations specifically
>>> intended to cater for high levels of birdwatching/photography traffic and
>>> are invariably located in significant and, often, sensitive bird habitats;
>>> - Stop using call playback when: the target bird has been identified; the
>>> bird appears upset; the bird becomes aggressive;
>>> - Do not simply turn the call playback on and leave it running continuously;
>>> - Use a moderate to low level of volume and not the maximum level the
>>> player equipment can manage;
>>> - Never use “aggression” or “alarm” calls for playback.
>>> Bird hides: (keeping in mind that the birds can see and hear the occupants
>>> of the hide)
>>> - Avoid loud noise inside the hide, e.g., loud conversation and mechanical
>>> - Move around the hide quietly and slowly avoiding sudden and violent
>>> - Do not wave arms and/or camera lenses out of the viewing ports of the
>>> - Enter and exit the hide slowly and quietly.
>>> I am sure other people can think of more possible “rules” but these are the
>>> ones I think to be most important.
>>> I should also point out the following extract from the (Qld) Department of
>>> Environment and Resources (DERM) Operational Policy document on visitor
>>> “Section 139 of the Protected Areas Management Regulation states that a
>>> person must not use a radio, tape recorder or other sound or amplifier
>>> system in a way that may cause unreasonable disturbance to a person or
>>> native animal in a protected area.”
>>> The whole document can be found at
>>> "Penalties do apply to infringements and details of those penalties can be
>>> seen in the document “Proposed regulations under the Recreation Areas
>>> Management Act 2006”.
>>> The document can be downloaded from this web page:
>>> Note page 16, item 129. The penalty appears to be usually $175 but possibly
>>> up to $3750."
>>> I should point out that I did not recognise the people involved in the
>>> incident described above and I am not in any way suggesting that the
>>> behaviour I witnessed is typical of that of all birdwatchers or
>>> Bob Inglis
>>> Sandstone Point
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