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Old Wednesday 4th May 2011, 17:54   #1
Cornish Chough
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 356
Thoughts please.

I'm not one to be judgemental and critical of fellow birders as the majority, in my experiences, behave well. However a few in my opinion didn't on Sunday whilst wanting to see the American Golden Plover at Hayle estuary.

I arrived at just after midday and parked just inside the entrance to Ryan's Field reserve and walked back to the main road (about 50 yds) to view the estuary. A small number of local birders decided to park on the side road partly blocking it and causing traffic by the old garage to have to queue onto the main road waiting for cars coming past the parked vehicles in the oppposite direction.

The Plover was then located at the east of the estuary by Carnsnew Basin by the Tempest's building. I decided to walk the 150 yds or so along the pavement to the location of the bird however the birders decided they would go by car and moved their cars from the roadside.

They then joined other people in parking in the access roads to Tempest's building or even on the pavement!

Granted being a Sunday the business was closed however should emergency access been required it would be impossible, the footpath was partly blocked and there was no pavement on the other side of the road.

After I departed here I walked back down to the bridge at the other end of the causeway (around a quarter of a mile) to view the Spoonbill and look for the Bonaparte's Gull and found another car stopped on the main road hazard lights flashing and birdwatchers jumping in it before driving off.

Later I drove around to Lelant station to view the Bonaparte's Gull to find the same few birders had walked right along the edge of the SSSI, which is clearly signed and known about, to get closer views of the bird.

Whilst we all probably do silly things at times we later regret I feel these people not only caused a problem by thoughtless and selfish parking but walking onto a SSSI albeit the edge by the railway line.

I have seen birders give dog walkers "grief" after taking their dogs along here and then these people do the same just so they can get better views.
Whilst I cannot say that their actions caused any disturbance to the birds I feel it was un-necessary as I could see the Bonaparte's Gull perfectly well from the footpath by the station with a telescope or binoculars.

Perhaps it time these birders stopped giving us all a bad name and followed the Birdwatchers code of conduct - or am I over reacting?
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