In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leucistic Little Owl image copyright Hilary Chambers, Durham.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Disclosure of territorial Cettis Warbler in NE

Is it appropriate for "bird information services" to be openly broadcasting news of singing male Cettis Warblers in the region ?

Whilst its obviously not the breeding season, the species regularly proclaims territory at this time of year.

Given that this is a Schedule 1 breeding species which is yet to become established in our area, i would have thought that none disclosure of information would be the best policy.

I think the people taking these desicions ought to be reminded to think on a bit.

Consider if you will, the lack of respect shown to other rare warblers that may have been prospecting likely breeding sites
eg. Marsh Warblers "trampled" at Herrington CPk (info on these 3 territorial birds was broadcast onto "bird information services" despite discussion & requests to keep it under wraps) & another unfortunate singing Marsh Warbler which was tape lured at Safc Academy Pools over the course of several days.

Theres far too many clueless arse#@?@s "birding" nowadays to allow info like this into the public domain.

At the end of the day, these "bird information services" are businesses in it for a profit - are they realy in the best position to deceide what info gets put out to all & sundry . . .


alan tilmouth said...

Several Points Stevie.
First your comments regarding Marsh Warbler are inaccurate at least as far as Birdguides and Bird North East are concerned. When offical request were made to stop reporting the MW at the site mentioned this was complied with, all previous reports on Birdguides were suppressed and a note to all operators remains in the system requesting info not to be broadcast on that species/site. Birdguides have an effective system in place when offical requests are made to stop using sched 1 information, however they continue to log sightings as they are reported providing valuable info freeofcharge to county recorders. It is not in their long term interests to upset people by ignoring such requests. No such request has been made regarding Cetti's to the best of my knowledge.
Re:Cetti's I cannot find any references to territory establishment this early BWP suggests March onward and this may be later in more northern latitudes.
My own personal view is that we should not be looking to blame the messenger, we all have to take responsibility for our own actions. If individuals behave in unacceptable ways or break the law (tape luring/trespass etc) it's up to the rest of us to a) make it clear its unacceptable and b) report them with evidence to RSPB/Police if they persist.

Stevie Evans ( owler ) said...

Didnt know you were connected with BirdGuides Alan.
Dont want to get into Marsh Warblers as it shouldnt ever have got to "the info services".

Mr Newsome, our Recorder states if there was evidence of breeding activity for Cettis then he'd reconsider the position on this info being in the public domain . . .

A couple of phrases spring to mind that include
Cats & Bags and Horses & Stable Doors.

I simply dont think that publicising the whereabouts of these potential new Schedule 1 colonists is in their best interests.

Mark Newsome said...

Just to clarify my position as County Recorder. I do not have final say in whether news on scarce birds is surpressed or made public. Any decision regarding the Cetti's Warbler at Birtley is nothing to do with me and my County Recorder role does not involve being a public relations/information management officer. I did not find the bird (found by local patch workers, non-DBC members), it is not my local patch and I did not pass news on to the bird info services.
If you consider it to be a problem, please contact the local patch workers involved (who will know the area better than anyone and any risks involved), Gateshead Birders (the local website carrying regular updates on the bird) and the relevant bird info services to air your concerns.
My personal opinion is that a single wintering Cetti's Warbler in a large reedbed which can be heard/looked for from a wide public footpath is under little threat from visiting birders.

Stevie Evans ( owler ) said...

We are all well aware of some of the negative effects that can result from these "distasteful bird news led media scrums" & the repercussions of putting info out into the public domain.

This is nothing new - but slightly more worrying in that its very scare breeding birds that are being "risked" so folks can "tick" & photograph them.

Let me remind you of just 2 of these which we've had in Co.Durham in the last couple of years.

Birders & photogs trampling all over vegetation & harrassing breeding Marsh Warblers at Pensha.

Birders hurling bricks at one of a pair of hidden Turtle Doves at Farnless Farm (you know the place where the farmer working with DBC & RSPB to grow Corn Buntings for us).

Some of these actions are simply appalling. These clueless pratts who show scant regard for the welfare of birds arent ever gonna change their ways - so why give them the opportunities to cause havoc in the first place.

As the number of "bird enthusiasts" grows seemingly week by week, so do the pressures on local birds & the sites they visit.

There no-one likes sharing bird info, putting folks onto stuff & helping beginners more than me - i do it every day.

But to my mind this whole "electronic info in the public domain", be it either news services or forums, has gone too far.

For a start:-
Lets make sure we all KEEP SCARCE & RARE TERRITORIAL/BREEDING BIRDS OFF the info services.

Stevie Evans ( owler ) said...

If theres ever any doubts in cases like the Marsh Warblers, & our possible colonist Cettis, then we must surely err on the side of caution as regards publicising bird info.