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Dusky Thrush in Shetland - Breaking news from RBA (12.17pm 5 Dec)

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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 14:13   #76
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Definitely a good point there. In Britain a really special rarity, first available at a weekend, and at a reasonably accessible location, could potentially attract nearly every keen twitcher in the country. There is also the issue that so much of the land in Britain is private, densly populated, and that in many locations the remnant pieces of good wildlife lhabitat are small and not used to large influxes of visitors. Certainly there are reasons why releasing news in Britain can potentially be more fraught than in the US. Still, things seem to scrape through on most occasions, though it's not surprising there is more potential for heat to be generated.
A fair assessment there Malodorous but it still does not address the 'closed group' mentality that prevails in some places and the little, elitist cliques that form like malignant tumours in some places.

I've seen it in operation as you almost certainly have and unless you're one of the 'in crowd' and on the 'grapevine' as it used to be before Twatter and it's ilk, you only find out about some birds when you read the annual report.

Some counties are more afflicted than others it seems from history....you know who you are!
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 14:38   #77
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Wouldn't dispute any of that (might even get used to the new name, neatly sat on the line between pitiable and villainous; might have to get into panto!); in the immortal and frequently repeated phrase of a former housemate 'people are dicks!'. But if people want to form their own little incrowd I just can't seem to get worked up about it. As I've said, my only accusation is that, if they are using news others are sharing willingly, but squirreling away their own, I reserve the right (I'm in a theatrical mood now) to remonstrate them with a fully voiced 'you, sir, are a bally hypocrite!' with perhaps a 'damn your eyes!' held for instances involving much needed birds.

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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 14:53   #78
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That said, I live in an area where most news does seem to be released very rapidly. We do have one site where a very long standing beef (which you might even be aware of) means some news might not be released, though even there I think anything really big at the local/national level would come out. We do, however, have a pretty tight, and near-universally understood, protocol of not publicising certain sensitive species. Having lost nearly all our Hen Harriers, Goshawks and Peregrines to grouse moor 'management' that's hardly surprising and the courtesy is extended to a few other species that tend to get bothered (like Long-eared Owl) regardless of their proximity to a shooting estate.

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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 15:17   #79
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That said, I live in an area where most news does seem to be released very rapidly. We do have one site where a very long standing beef (which you might even be aware of) means some news might not be released, though even there I think anything really big at the local/national level would come out. We do, however, have a pretty tight, and near-universally understood, protocol of not publicising certain sensitive species. Having lost nearly all our Hen Harriers, Goshawks and Peregrines to grouse moor 'management' that's hardly surprising and the courtesy is extended to a few other species that tend to get bothered (like Long-eared Owl) regardless of their proximity to a shooting estate.
I don't think any right minded person would have a problem with this but if I find out you had a Dusky Thrush in your back yard and didn't tell me, get yer flak jacket on.......

When it comes to suppression, most are referring to vagrants rather than rare or threatened breeding birds.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 15:26   #80
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You would hope so, but it's an example where news being kept within an incrowd (often formed by raptor workers that are also prominent birders) might create suspicion and resentment. An example would be the withholding of news of a rare or locally scarce bird that just happened to have been found next to an active Hen Harrier roost. In this example I think, sad as it may be that it must happen, withholding news is completely justified. The trouble is that others might not understand (or at an extreme not even care about) the nuances of the situation and by the time the news is heard it may no longer be in context, may not be contextualised by the motives of the observer, and just ends up with 'that so and so didn't tell anyone about that so and so'. And, of course, that is likely to be exasperated by the observer still not being able to justify their actions as they regard maintaining the secrecy of the HH roost as imperative.

Last edited by melodious : Friday 7th December 2018 at 15:55. Reason: last sentence added
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 16:42   #81
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You would hope so, but it's an example where news being kept within an incrowd (often formed by raptor workers that are also prominent birders) might create suspicion and resentment. An example would be the withholding of news of a rare or locally scarce bird that just happened to have been found next to an active Hen Harrier roost. In this example I think, sad as it may be that it must happen, withholding news is completely justified. The trouble is that others might not understand (or at an extreme not even care about) the nuances of the situation and by the time the news is heard it may no longer be in context, may not be contextualised by the motives of the observer, and just ends up with 'that so and so didn't tell anyone about that so and so'. And, of course, that is likely to be exasperated by the observer still not being able to justify their actions as they regard maintaining the secrecy of the HH roost as imperative.
I think the logical answer to that is if you are going to suppress something, suppress it. To the point that it only appears in BB a year later as observer and location withheld at observer's request.

I would just make the proviso that its one thing to do so at a "secret Hen Harrier roost" in a known raptor murder zone, but quite another to use it as an excuse about, for instance, Stubb Mill!

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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 16:58   #82
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I think the logical answer to that is if you are going to suppress something, suppress it. To the point that it only appears in BB a year later as observer and location withheld at observer's request.

I would just make the proviso that its one thing to do so at a "secret Hen Harrier roost" in a known raptor murder zone, but quite another to use it as an excuse about, for instance, Stubb Mill!

John
Agreed, John, that might be the best solution though, obviously, the actual observers might think publication a year or two later is OK and then the problems start! As for your example, of course; locally to me one Goshawk site is so well known that it is pretty pointless trying to deny that birds are there even though it couldn't be much worse positioned in terms of persecution - the gamekeepers very much know exactly where the birds attempt to nest (and act accordingly and very frequently) - and if we were ever blessed with a Hen Harrier roost in a largely safe area or nature reserve the situation would be different. On a broader note, we could get on to Schedule 1 species that have the 'inconvenience' of a rarity appearing near their nests. I've certainly turned up for a BB at a site oblivious to their presence but thankfully there was a local on hand to ensure the crowd was chivied away from the problematic area. Should that bird have been 'suppressed' and the subsequent record redacted to an extent that it wasn't meaningfully available for description (e.g. for a county bird report) for all time?

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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 18:23   #83
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On a broader note, we could get on to Schedule 1 species that have the 'inconvenience' of a rarity appearing near their nests. I've certainly turned up for a BB at a site oblivious to their presence but thankfully there was a local on hand to ensure the crowd was chivied away from the problematic area. Should that bird have been 'suppressed' and the subsequent record redacted to an extent that it wasn't meaningfully available for description (e.g. for a county bird report) for all time?
I think that has to be horses for courses.

Firstly it depends on the distance between the BB's temporary patch and the breeding area of the Schedule 1 species: also the visibility and accessibility of the latter - a Savi's Warbler out in a wet reedbed isn't going to be disturbed by the twitchers that notice it singing while looking at a top shorebird on a nearby scrape, and I think its fairly unreasonable to assume that the twitch per se will more likely result in information reaching eggers than activities of local birders.

Secondly it depends on the ability of the finders/locals to police behaviour if the Schedule 1 site is susceptible to bad cases of trespassing (that directly affect the birds, I mean, not people climbing on old buildings).

Lastly, if you've ever read the Rare Breeding Birds Report, there are usually a load of records in it that are not of breeding birds at all (single Red-necked Grebes loitering in late spring on gravel pits, for instance) and I have no time for anyone using that sort of thing as an excuse for suppression.

But sometimes it must be done, and explanations, if permissible - after all, the rare breeders may return the following year and need to be kept quiet ad infinitum, not just for the season - may have to wait.

I'm sure the collective can invent all sorts of other scenarios.

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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 18:24   #84
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I can't believe how twisted this thread has become!!! A common theme seems to be the suggestion that the Dusky Thrush was supressed! What a load of twaddle!!!
People who clearly have some sort of agenda need to get a grip!
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 18:51   #85
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Think it's mainly just digression, Birdspotter; nobody has really put anything much up about the bird at all! Personally (referring back to the bird!) it just sounds like an etiquette faux pas that caused offence to someone and a bit of an overreaction from them to it (and I don't know if there have been any personal circumstances that might have led to the perceived overreaction). Can't see any evidence that there was any suppression here at all; I've just been happily chuntering away about the subject seeing as it had been raised.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:03   #86
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I think that has to be horses for courses.

Firstly it depends on the distance between the BB's temporary patch and the breeding area of the Schedule 1 species: also the visibility and accessibility of the latter - a Savi's Warbler out in a wet reedbed isn't going to be disturbed by the twitchers that notice it singing while looking at a top shorebird on a nearby scrape, and I think its fairly unreasonable to assume that the twitch per se will more likely result in information reaching eggers than activities of local birders.

Secondly it depends on the ability of the finders/locals to police behaviour if the Schedule 1 site is susceptible to bad cases of trespassing (that directly affect the birds, I mean, not people climbing on old buildings).

Lastly, if you've ever read the Rare Breeding Birds Report, there are usually a load of records in it that are not of breeding birds at all (single Red-necked Grebes loitering in late spring on gravel pits, for instance) and I have no time for anyone using that sort of thing as an excuse for suppression.

But sometimes it must be done, and explanations, if permissible - after all, the rare breeders may return the following year and need to be kept quiet ad infinitum, not just for the season - may have to wait.

I'm sure the collective can invent all sorts of other scenarios.

John
Indeed, John, it's a question of judgement; making decisions that at times prove tricky and may not in the end please everyone. A broadly applied, uninformed and reflexive emotional response that juxtaposes 'suppressor' against 'worthy member of our group', regardless of context, may not be that widely held an opinion but it certainly happens, and it hardly helps in the process of making those judgements.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:05   #87
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I can't believe how twisted this thread has become!!! A common theme seems to be the suggestion that the Dusky Thrush was supressed! What a load of twaddle!!!
People who clearly have some sort of agenda need to get a grip!
Where and by whom? I haven't seen a single suggestion of that by anyone. Let alone it being common. Merely the usual off topic discussion.

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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:12   #88
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I think that has to be horses for courses.

Lastly, if you've ever read the Rare Breeding Birds Report, there are usually a load of records in it that are not of breeding birds at all (single Red-necked Grebes loitering in late spring on gravel pits, for instance) and I have no time for anyone using that sort of thing as an excuse for suppression.

John
Funny you should mention that particular species; after several years of holding a territory, the local Red-necked Grebe appeared to finally give up trying immediately after a photographer decided to start blasting recordings at it in the hope of getting closer shots. Who knows, it may never have found a mate, but that incident seems to have made it absolutely certain. Oh, and there was certainly no suppression in this instance; wrong judgement call?

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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:16   #89
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Think it's mainly just digression, Birdspotter; nobody has really put anything much up about the bird at all! Personally (referring back to the bird!) it just sounds like an etiquette faux pas that caused offence to someone and a bit of an overreaction from them to it (and I don't know if there have been any personal circumstances that might have led to the perceived overreaction). Can't see any evidence that there was any suppression here at all; I've just been happily chuntering away about the subject seeing as it had been raised.
You mean apart from the fact that GE put it out and got called a '*****' for doing so, I know about the photo copyright etc but there's not been a word since and without GE, we may never have known anything at all.

Sounds to me like the photo was used as an excuse for having a go at him for putting it out to me?

Here you go Paul......
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:19   #90
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Honestly not sure about that, Andy, I don't subscribe to a news provider so I don't know what came out where and when exactly. Just from the bit I read (the Twitter message and comments) it all sounded like it was releasing someone else's photo that was the issue. Could be wrong but that's how I took it.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:21   #91
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Honestly not sure about that, Andy, I don't subscribe to a news provider so I don't know what came out where and when exactly. Just from the bit I read (the Twitter message and comments) it all sounded like it was releasing someone else's photo that was the issue. Could be wrong but that's how I took it.
Neither do I but info usually filters through to here if there is any.

I've seen hundreds in China anyway.

Will be interesting to see if it's gets some leg irons on it as they usually do up there.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:30   #92
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I've seen one not far from my house. Lot's of people saw it and, particularly on the first day (I went back several times), it was one of the best twitches I've ever attended, a real community event involving birders, locals, and a well deserved charity. It wasn't in my garden, by the way, Andy.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:44   #93
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Where and by whom? I haven't seen a single suggestion of that by anyone. Let alone it being common. Merely the usual off topic discussion.
Apart from Andy!
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:51   #94
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Apart from Andy!


Odd that there's no report, winter Thrushes often linger.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:55   #95
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As has recently been commented (on the occasion of a Dusky Thrush as it happens), not at Spurn they don't! Not sure of the track record for Shetland but many occurrences there do appear to be fleeting.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 20:05   #96
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Funny you should mention that particular species; after several years of holding a territory, the local Red-necked Grebe appeared to finally give up trying immediately after a photographer decided to start blasting recordings at it in the hope of getting closer shots. Who knows, it may never have found a mate, but that incident seems to have made it absolutely certain. Oh, and there was certainly no suppression in this instance; wrong judgement call?
It also may have come to the end of its natural, or been taken by a predator while nobody was watching, so the whole thing may be a huge coincidence: but having seen numbwit photographers as you say, "blasting" songs at innocent Whitethroats and ignoring any suggestion that they should desist, I suspect you may be right. Shame.

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Old Saturday 8th December 2018, 00:37   #97
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Apart from Andy!
I rest my case m'lord!
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Old Saturday 8th December 2018, 01:01   #98
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I rest my case m'lord!
I think that's more of a minor kink than the exaggerated piffle you were earlier suggesting ...




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I can't believe how twisted this thread has become!!! A common theme seems to be the suggestion that the Dusky Thrush was supressed! What a load of twaddle!!!
People who clearly have some sort of agenda need to get a grip!
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