I know I am getting fairly dotty, but I don't remember contributing
anything to the Mataranka Goshawk string, except to reply to Richard
Baxter's post, to which I replied "Richard, You are pulling a bit of a
long bow there, unless you have hard data to prove you statement. Or
is this one of those "facts that everyone knows" which was in response
to Richard's claims that scientists do more harm to birdlife than
birders. I actually have just checked the B-A archives and that
certainly was the only post I made to that thread. It was one tar baby
I was not going to get involved with. I am happy to put my hands up to
anything I have been gaught out on, but that is one canard I am going
On 27/08/2012, at 7:27 PM, Robert Inglis wrote:
Dave, (and Carl to a lesser degree) I am a little confused. A little
while ago, in the case of the alleged harassment of a Red Goshawk in
the NT, you were happy "to follow Simon's points and try to educate
those we think are doing the wrong thing". What has changed?
I have to admit that I am being a little bit selfish in starting this
thread as I am trying to protect my personal enjoyment in
photographing birds in my own area.
This particular location is the subject of an ongoing, behind the
scenes campaign being waged by concerned birders and conservationists
to protect this very sensitive Conservation Park. This park is
constantly being subject to abuse by people invading the park with
their dogs, trail bikes and motor vehicles. The Conservation Park area
includes a significant roosting area for shorebirds and terns which
are being constantly, deliberately and illegally disturbed by the
general tourist element who are encouraged to flock to the area to
enjoy its other truly magnificent attributes.
It is true that there are many more significant 'problems' which are
threatening to devalue the virtues of this once laudable society and
which I, as a member of a generation born at a time of world conflict,
hold so dear. But, there is, as is always the case, a story behind the
I hesitated to report this incident as, knowing the feelings of many
bird watchers and bird photographers, I realise there is a great gap
between those who believe there is not a lot wrong with using call
playback and those who believe it is the work of the devil incarnate.
Everyone should note that I am somewhere in between those two
positions but I do believe that there are likely repercussion from
careless, ill-considered use of call playback.
In this case, I have been warned that the 'local' (at least) Parks and
Wildlife personnel are of the opinion that photography in National
Parks (and this Conservation Park is claimed by those people) is
ILLEGAL. I apologise for the capitalisation there but it must be
emphasised. Plainly they are wrong as it is often emphasised in the
notes about particular National Parks that one of the encouraged
activities in the park is "photography". However, it is illegal to
take photographs in national parks for commercial purposes; it is also
illegal to take a photo in a national park initially without a
commercial purpose in mind but to later use that photo for commercial
purposes. I will not go into what constitutes "a commercial purpose"
but it should be sufficient to say "you would be surprised". The short
of it is that a park warden is probably authorised to determine on the
spot if a commercial photographic process is being undertaken and you
would have to go through a tortuous process to prove otherwise.
The point of the immediate above is that I have been advised that the
'local' parks and wildlife representatives are quite likely to 'come
down hard' on photographers using this hide for photography if a
complaint is made about activities where it could reasonably by
considered that the wildlife is being unreasonably disturbed. Once
again, it is in the power of the local Parks and Wildlife
representatives to determine what is "unreasonable".
Would that be a good thing as far as birdwatchers and bird
photographers are concerned? Would that help to increase the numbers
And, how can a case be made to prosecute members of the general public
for deliberately or carelessly disturbing shorebirds and terns if
birdwatchers/photographers are also deliberately disturbing wildlife
for a photograph?
Dave, as a bird watcher of considerable experience and a bird
photographer of considerable talent do you really need 'scientific
proof' that a bird you are watching is undergoing stress as the result
of call playback?
Certainly, deforestation is one of the major curses of our collective
lifetimes but does it help if some birdwatchers are only interested in
their personal enjoyment at the moment and are not concerned about
what their 'now' actions mean for the future?
I thank everyone who has responded to my initial posting, for or
against, however, I think it is probably time to close the discussion
and I will not comment on this topic again.
-----Original Message----- From: David Stowe
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 5:19 PM
To: Carl Clifford
Cc: Robert Inglis ; Birding-Aus
Subject: Using call playback in bird watching and
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
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
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.
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