Historic channels

To: "'Peter Shute'" <>
Subject: Historic channels
From: "Wedderburn Birding" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:28:46 +1100

I think that birding in Australia is pretty much fragmented anyway with
birders finding their own way of keeping up to speed with developments and
rarities, some of the options being:

1. Birding-Aus - can be useful at times but is probably outdated and needs
to "adapt or die" as the recent events surrounding the Dowitcher sighting
have shown. Used to be very good for trip reports but very few are posted
these days. 

2. Facebook - Has various private groups which you need to be a member of.
The rapid dissemination of information, photos, identification, etc. was
excellent for the recent Dowitcher sighting, which started off as an Asian
Dowitcher seen on Friday and reported on Sunday on eBird, with some smart
birders recognising that this was either a Short or Long-billed Dowitcher on
Monday, and by the end of Tuesday the consensus was Long-billed Dowitcher
following many photos and reports, and by Wednesday the bird had
disappeared. The real time reporting on FB is excellent and important when
in the field. 

3. eBird - excellent for rare bird sightings and needs lists but does have
some limitations regarding misidentification or poor data entry (e.g. the
recent Red-browed Pardalote in Victoria) and relatively few birders
submitting lists

4. WA Bird sightings - well they live in a different part of the world

5. Eremaea Birdline reports - generally very good but there are limitations
and subjective reporting as others have highlighted, the weekly reporting to
Birding Aus is illegible  

6. Birdlife Australia - good to read about historical sightings but not much
use if you are chasing birds

7. Other birding data bases - never get any reports published and difficult
to search records

At the end of the day birders will move to where they can get the best
results, in the mean time we have to follow many disjointed channels of
communication to keep up to date. 


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