02 May 2011

An open blogpost to [you?]

Dear [enter your name here if the cap fits],

Re the White Stork in Gwent

You seem to be mistaking a complete lack of information for suppression. The only information available on Saturday night appeared on Birdguides at about 21:00 and was of limited use, i.e. something along the lines of "White Stork, Chepstow". The observer is/was unknown to Gwent birders and, as such, no further information could be sought. You had all the information anyone had at that time.

The bird was refound Sunday morning because two/three birders spent hours looking around Chepstow for the bird and, on following up news of an incoming Osprey, it was refound by NC at Newhouse. Unfortunately, it was almost immediately lost again as it took off and couldn't be refound, despite considerable efforts by NC and TC (and much less considerable effort by a few of us who had been at Uskmouth). Anyone could have driven to Chepstow on spec and tried refinding it but most people couldn't be bothered or had other things to do (leading International Dawn Chorus Day walks, taking their kids to rugby competitions, etc., etc.).

Later in the morning some additional news (possibly by the original observer, though this remains unclear) was added to the GOS site and, obviously, NC put his news on. There was no suppression of this bird at any point, just less than perfect news by the original observer who would appear not totally up to speed re local rarity news dissemination.

Peace. Out.

PS. To the wider birding cadre, if you aren't on Twitter and 'following' the local birders, you are ignoring a rapidly growing news outlet (there are a few good ones to follow in Glos and Somerset, and Weekendbirder's is good for Gwent [I wouldn't necessarily bother following mine, it's full of all kinds of crap]).

PPS. Just for the record, if, God forfend, I ever opt to have kids, I promise not to moan at everyone else when they severely hamper my rarity finding/twitching/life.

PPPS. Breaking news: the Gwent county recorder is now on Twitter too, as was the only live coverage of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. Whilst I don't think the two are related, it does prove you probably should be on Twitter if you are a news whore (bird or otherwise).


Darryl said...

BTW, this response to comments on the South Wales Birding blog is published here as I was unable to post a comment on there.

Ceeege said...

Darryl, thanks for posting this, it does make things clearer and I'm not afraid to speak out and clear my viewpoint.

Yes I have 2 young kids and my birding time is limited and yes I'd love to spend hours unshackled and finding birds to share with others but the reality is that I can't, at least not until I can bring them with me and they aren't a hindrance to me or others.

I chose to have them and wouldn't change a thing but I bird in Glamorgan, Gwent, Gloucs and Hants (in-laws live there) and I really struggle to find info on good sites for birding or specific species. I was just frustrated after hearing several more pieces of belated news that could have been shared, allowing the birding community to see some great birds. Having had several days off work and a few relatively unproductive local birding trips I was hoping to be able to see some of the scarcer things this time of year brings up. Venting frustration is natural and hopefully from it, we can get better information channels up and running.

Yes I've recently discovered Twitter and it's a great news medium (as long as you can filter out the "I've just made myself a cup of tea and gonna watch TV Burp" type crap). I'm using it when I get out and, god forbid, if I discover something out of the ordinary, it'll be on there straight away.

I'm not wanting to come over as a moaner, I just want to be part of a birding community that isn't cliqued to the hilt so that when we have our free time, the options are there as to how we can potentially spend it.


Darryl said...

Chris, keep speaking out, I'm all for people saying what they're thinking; hell, this blog has been nothing but venting, ranting and moaning for the last five and a half years. Some of it has even been about birds.

I was just suggesting that we can all rest easy in the knowledge that Gwent is not a hotbed of rampant suppression. Let's face it, the first prerequisite for suppression is rare birds to suppress and (99% of the time) Gwent kinda falls at the first hurdle.