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So what is the difference between Stringing and Making Stuff Up

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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 17:34   #1
Songkhran
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So what is the difference between Stringing and Making Stuff Up

A great philosophical conundrum?
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 17:42   #2
Larry Sweetland
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A great philosophical conundrum?
Stinging is convincing yourself that you're sure about something. Making stuff up can be an outright lie that you are sure is a lie
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 18:34   #3
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Stinging is convincing yourself that you're sure about something. Making stuff up can be an outright lie that you are sure is a lie
That sums it up nicely......all I would add is that perhaps you're more likely to string a sighting early on in your birding life and sometimes it may take years to finally say, Yes, it was definitely one or No, I'm not certain. This comes with experience and hopefully maturity ( though there will be exceptions of all ages ).
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Old Wednesday 7th November 2018, 21:52   #4
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Both constitute stringing. The only way it matters whether you are kidding yourself or a bunch of other people is that in the first instance only you know you have no integrity and in the second, sooner or later everybody does.

Do not try to string that one is better than the other. Both are 100% naff.

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Old Thursday 8th November 2018, 10:24   #5
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Both constitute stringing. The only way it matters whether you are kidding yourself or a bunch of other people is that in the first instance only you know you have no integrity and in the second, sooner or later everybody does.

Do not try to string that one is better than the other. Both are 100% naff.

John
There are people who are completely oblivious to their lack of ability, or even their own delusions when they claim birds, or try to cover up their ID errors in some manner.

Then there are people who simply lie about things they've seen. The creation of a new term for being a straightforward liar seems a bit stupid.

Look at it another way, there exists a set of individuals who lie about other people's birds in a mostly negative context.
"Joe Bloggs never saw features x,y and z."
"Farmer Brown was 200 miles away from the reported location at time b."
"Someone offered to sell me a Siberian Rubythroat in the car park".

We don't apply the term stringer then, why would we do so when making something up about their own claim?

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Old Thursday 8th November 2018, 16:01   #6
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There are people who are completely oblivious to their lack of ability, or even their own delusions when they claim birds, or try to cover up their ID errors in some manner.

Owen
The first of these is generally easily detected. And an honest mistake is not stringing: but the person making the mistake does need to learn from people who helpfully correct them....

The serial delusionist is a classic stringer and short of taking them to the vet there is no solution.

Covering up the cock-up - or trying to - is understandable (and of course covered at some length in BOLBBB) but again the perp needs to understand when the game is up - preferably from a gentle hint but if they persist things are liable to become quite blunt!

Its taken me this amount of drafting to completely understand your later point and I rather agree with it except that its probably less likely to cause a breach of the peace if you hint something is stringy rather than tell someone they're a liar. Though I recall with relish listening years ago to Tittletattler telling some St Martin's-staying birders, who had effectively dragged a load of us over from Mary's to see a perfectly ordinary Skylark with their claim of Oriental, exactly what he thought of them.

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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 09:47   #7
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I suspect that the under-reporting of rarities by folks who don't have the confidence to stick their heads above the parapet is a bigger problem than stringing.
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 11:51   #8
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[quote=Farnboro John;3784491
Covering up the cock-up - or trying to - is understandable (and of course covered at some length in BOLBBB) but again the perp needs to understand when the game is up - preferably from a gentle hint but if they persist things are liable to become quite blunt!

John[/QUOTE]

This when you roll pout the 'two bird theory'.....

I think that when it comes to actually lying to enhance your list or whatever, that cannot be stringing, it's just lying!

My own view of stringing is that it's done though lack of experience and or ability rather than the will to deceive.
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 12:01   #9
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I suspect that the under-reporting of rarities by folks who don't have the confidence to stick their heads above the parapet is a bigger problem than stringing.
I'd imagine probably not on the whole, although it certainly could be an issue in certain locales if the local birding scene is particulary cliquey/unforgiving.

Probably a bigger issue is under-reporting due to personal gripes with local rarity committees/anti-twitcher sentiments and other 'suppressions'. But that's already off-topic


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This when you roll pout the 'two bird theory'.....

I think that when it comes to actually lying to enhance your list or whatever, that cannot be stringing, it's just lying!

My own view of stringing is that it's done though lack of experience and or ability rather than the will to deceive.
Think there will be as many reasons for stringing as circumstances a bird can be found in. Wishful thinking, being too drunk on way back from pub, lack of sleep; plenty that aren't 'malicious stringing' per se.

Not getting enough on a bird and 'filling in the details' after or over-excitement when it feels 'rare'. All totally understandable stringing. Doesn't make it excusable!
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 12:49   #10
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We all, at times, have probably fallen foul of stringing. I dare anyone to say that they have never convinced themselves, either through lack of knowledge, or as quite often happens, seeing what we want to see, being led by the crowd etc, that what they are looking at is the object of their desires, if only briefly.

Providing that we are prepared to accept our blunders on presentation of unequivocal evidence to the contrary there is not a problem with this (except of course to our own self esteem and possible mirth of others). Although greatly disappointed to discover later that what I thought was a lifer in the form of a Bairds sandpiper at Rutland earlier this year was in fact a Sanderling, once I had studied the evidence it was immediately scratched from the list with a lesson learnt about scrutinizing the bird itself rather than taking others word for it.

A lie is a lie and is usually designed to deceive or create mischief.

Where the line perhaps becomes blurred is when one refuses to accept the evidence and hangs onto their own "string". Whilst this is obviously bad form, they are however only deceiving themselves.

A recent example was when waiting for a sight of an Artic warbler at Wells recently, one fellow declared he was on the bird, which everyone else could see was clearly a Chiffy, refusing to admit his error, he scribbled in his notebook and promptly walked off telling everyone what a great bird he had seen! His loss, as about ten minutes later we all had great views of said bird.
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 15:24   #11
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[quote=Egret;3784718]I suspect that the under-reporting of rarities by folks who don't have the confidence to stick their heads above the parapet is a bigger problem than stringing.[/QUOTE

I'd have to disagree with this as stringing - real stringing with someone putting out a duff ID, especially when it can't be checked overnight, and deliberate hoaxes where there was no bird in the first place - have cost me money, annual leave (both finite resources) and goodwill of (usually senior) colleagues over the years. These days those resources have better availability but in the past they have been limiting factors I resented "wasting" in case I needed them later in the year.

Stuff I don't hear about is definitely less of an issue than that.

John
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 15:45   #12
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I'd have to disagree with this as stringing - real stringing with someone putting out a duff ID, especially when it can't be checked overnight, and deliberate hoaxes where there was no bird in the first place - have cost me money, annual leave (both finite resources) and goodwill of (usually senior) colleagues over the years. These days those resources have better availability but in the past they have been limiting factors I resented "wasting" in case I needed them later in the year.

Stuff I don't hear about is definitely less of an issue than that.

John
That's why I only go for birds that have actually been photograped (if at all). Of course, it's a lot easier in this day and age....
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 16:14   #13
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This when you roll pout the 'two bird theory'.....

I think that when it comes to actually lying to enhance your list or whatever, that cannot be stringing, it's just lying!
Obviously the time to do that is when you know that the bird has been seen that day and haven’t seen it yourself, but there are no witnesses. Passed on a couple of opportunities to do this with Bedfordshire’s recent first Dick Pipit, twice finding myself the last to leave (and the second time seeing a distant Pipit that looked like it might be a bit large).

...and the two-bird theory is of course always invaluable. Or indeed the four bird theory, as happened to me a couple of years ago listening to odd songs from a bush and wondering about Marsh Warbler, whereupon a Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, a Garden Warbler and a Blackcap all sequentially emerged from said bush

(Of course, the Marsh Warbler that was there didn’t show itself )
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 21:06   #14
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Both constitute stringing. The only way it matters whether you are kidding yourself or a bunch of other people is that in the first instance only you know you have no integrity and in the second, sooner or later everybody does.

Do not try to string that one is better than the other. Both are 100% naff.

John
I think you're stringing the very definition of the word John! I think someone is only stringing if they at least believe at some point that they're right. Don't worry though, we all do it, and I'm sure you'll realise that you've been stringing the definition in the cold light of all the evidence
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 22:31   #15
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Maybe I could use the example of the tanager that's currently visiting my garden to explain what I think is the difference.

a) Making things up.

If I phone up Nancy's tomorrow (is that what you do?) and say "Hey, there's a Scarlet Tanager in my garden. It's been popping in briefly since yesterday. Check it out." Then it is not stringing. It is an outright lie, because I've seen it really well, and I know full well I've completely made it up. I'm well aware that it's actually a Summer Tanager, and I'm just having a laugh to wind up the twitching community, trying to put off the big listers that might not travel for a tart's tick like Scarlet Tanager. I'm not a stringer, I'm a liar.

b) Stringing.

If I phone up Nancy's tomorrow and say "Hey, there's a Scarlet Tanager in my garden. It's been popping in briefly since yesterday. Check it out." Then I am stringing. My first view was a split second glimpse, and I thought "Blimey, tanager!....no, can't be. Must be seeing things. A few hours later "Blimey there it is again (better view) WHOA it's a f***** tanager!!!!...don't panic...check the structure...look at the wings and plumage tones....F** it's gone." ......... Hmmmm the wings did look dark as expected...yes it couldn't have been the light. Surely. I'm sure I saw it well enough to be sure it was too compact for Summer. And that bill shape.. hmmm...yes DEFINITELY Scarlet. Anyway look at ebird....ebird says I'm far more likely for it be a Scarlet Tanager in Bristol. No records of Summer anywhere near here. Yes definitely Scarlet Tanager. Lets face it, I'll look a right numpty if I report it as a tanager sp, only to have someone to come along and instantly go "Confirmed....it's a SCARLET Tanager......MY call". No...I better report it as a Scarlet Tanager. In that case I was stringing, as it's actually a Summer Tanager.

I hope it's still there tomorrow, and big Trev next door doesn't mind the crowds :)

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Old Saturday 10th November 2018, 06:55   #16
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You also have the cases of what I call "temporal stringing" or "hindsight fluffing".

I think I've commented on the forum about this before. This is when someone has genuinely found a bird, but when the "finders in the field" type article comes out, the tale of it's identification resembles reality not one jot, completely altered to make the finder appear they knew what they were looking at all along, as opposed to the scenario where they cocked it up and were actually informed of the correct ID or wereon the wrong track etc.

This is increasingly common.

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Old Saturday 10th November 2018, 07:45   #17
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The very definition of stringing (plus countless other examples on this Twitter account):

https://twitter.com/birdsofalvecote/...109321730?s=20
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Old Monday 12th November 2018, 13:43   #18
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The very definition of stringing (plus countless other examples on this Twitter account):

https://twitter.com/birdsofalvecote/...109321730?s=20
Great Twitter account, tempted to follow, if only for the brilliantly blurry BOC pics!

The problem is like the boy who cried wolf; I mean some of these IDs are accurate, and one day there might be a Western Reef Egret in Warwickshire..
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2018, 15:27   #19
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Glad I am not part of the hardcore birding scene...Either someone is being accused of stringing or, on the other hand, of suppression if they HAVE seen something of interest but haven't told someone/enough people, etc.


Nobody's getting paid for this stuff! We don't owe each other anything
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Old Wednesday 21st November 2018, 16:47   #20
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Glad I am not part of the hardcore birding scene...Either someone is being accused of stringing or, on the other hand, of suppression if they HAVE seen something of interest but haven't told someone/enough people, etc.


Nobody's getting paid for this stuff! We don't owe each other anything
How very mercenary. We who belong to the birding community owe it to our own humanity to share the chance to see birds we have enjoyed, with others. There doesn't have to be perfect balance: I've done two things for you so you have to do two things for me.... it's possible to get gratification from enabling someone else's pleasure.

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