I think there is a very strange attitude in this country towards birding, If you make a mistake you are ridiculed yet if you check a book you are also ridiculed, its a no win situation.
An example of this happened to me this year on Scilly, I am not the most confident birder, well I wasn't I am more so now, and while checking a certain area i spotted a small sylvia warbler on a wall, it turned out to be a Subalpine Warbler, I saw it very briefly and then couldn't believe my eyes, unfortunatly only one other birder, a friend of mine saw its back as it dissolved into the bushes, now I lost all confidence and put the news out that it was a probable (i regret that now). This left me open and i heard a few comments that night in the log call, I had alchol in me by then so I put people straight, but if i hadn't feared being made to look a fool if I was wrong I would have been a lot more confident and others may have seen the bird.
Unfortunatly the bird was not seen again and this lead to people (including friends) thinking I had strung the bird.
It has taught me a valuble lesson tho, I now no longer judge peoples records in a harsh way, to quote the bible (and me a staunch atheist) "Judge not lest ye be judged" or something.