Yellow Bittern at North Lakes

Subject: Yellow Bittern at North Lakes
From: Nicolette Thompson <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 16:23:27 +1000
I was one of the birders at North Lakes on Friday.  I saw the email from
Sandra Gallienne when I arrived home last night and immediately let her
know that her account of the day was not based on fact.  I did this in the
hope that she would retract her statement and thus avoid the usual
acrimonious emails.  She has neither done this nor responded to me.

On Friday morning the Yellow Bittern was not at the lake where Paul had
seen it.  When I and a friend arrived we met two birders who had been there
since early morning and who had not seen the bird. It was not FLUSHED by
birders or photographers.  It simply was not there.  I did speak to a few
folk who had left the footpaths contrary to Paul's request. Some moved back
immediately and only a couple remained where they were.  There are always a
couple of people in any group to whom any considerations don't apply,
aren't there?  Anyway they didn't flush or chase the bird as it wasn't
there.  The waterfowl were foraging or loafing in and around the lake and
were in no way perturbed by the dozen or so watchers plus various bikers,
walkers and dog walkers who I guess are regulars in the area.

Late morning a gentleman came back to the lake to let us know that the YB
was across the road at the Golf Club. There was no great rush across.  As
the message spread folk walked across to the pond to watch or photograph
the bird.  Eventually officials from the Gold Club came to talk to us
because the pond was in the line of fire from the golfers and it was a
safety issue.

They were very interested once they knew what we were doing.  After a
discussion about safety issues versus our interests they were going to work
on  some management strategies for the following day so that both could be
satisfied.  We left at midday, so I can't comment on anything that happened
after that .

Sadly, Sandra's email has caused a lot of angst and unnecessary back-biting
on this forum.

I would also like to know on what grounds Sandra has given herself the
authority to tell us that 'birders are now asked to refrain from visiting
this site'

Nicci Thompson
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