Don't assume

To: "'Green'" <>, <>
Subject: Don't assume
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:19:03 +1000
It can work both ways.

I remember some years ago  a group of us was banding birds in coastal dunes
about 50 km south of Perth.  While we were doing the rounds of the mist nets
a retired couple who had gone for a walk through the dunes came across one
of our temporarily unattended mist nets and found a bird in it.  They
immediately thought that the mist net belonged to a bird smuggler, so freed
the bird and took the mist net away with them as evidence.  Upon arriving at
the location where the mist net had been, we realised that our bird-banding
activities had been disrupted and so we decided to pack up for the day.
Upon arriving back at our cars in a nearby parking area with the
bird-banding gear, the couple who took the mist net enquired in the
strongest terms possible as to what we were doing.  When I explained that we
had been bird-banding as part of a research project, the couple were very
red-faced and apologetic.  They explained that they had assumed we were bird
smugglers, had broken into one of our cars to gather further evidence of
this activity and had called the police.  The police arrived a few minutes
later.  Fortunately, one of the policemen who arrived on the scene was a
friend of my family and was aware of our bird-banding program.  The stolen
incriminating evidence (the mist net and essays) was handed back to me and,
after further brief discussion, everyone headed home.

It was a good thing that this couple was initially concerned about our
activities, concerned enough to call the police. But it was wrong of them to
take the law into their own hands by removing a mist net, and breaking into
someone's car to remove potential items of incrimination (some uni student
essays which I was going to take home and mark overnight!).  Next time we
were banding birds at that location, the couple came along with us out of
interest, which was the best form of education for them. 

Stephen Ambrose
Ryde NSW

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:24 PM
Subject: Don't assume

Hi Russell
I heard a perfect saying the other day that fits this thread.

Never assume anything! It makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me".

Bob Green
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