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to tick or not to tick?

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Old Sunday 29th February 2004, 19:43   #1
Surreybirder
Ken Noble
 
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to tick or not to tick?

that is the question.
On 14.9.1994 I saw a pale grey-coloured small skua flying N in a strong wind off St Mary's Island, Newcastle.
I never ticked it as a long-tailed skua (which would be a lifer for me) as I felt I couldn't eliminate 1st summer artic skua.
However, Michael Frankis tells me:
Quote:
there were 23 [long-taileds] N at St Mary's on that day, all juvs, the biggest passage of the year (also 39 juv Arctics N as well, but they wouldn't be cold grey)
I feel inclined to award myself a tick after 10 years. What would others do?
Ken
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Old Sunday 29th February 2004, 19:51   #2
IanF
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I can empathize your quandary as I have been in a similar position on numerous occasions, but nowadays I'm quite rigid in that I won't include a bird as a tick unless I'm 100% satisfied myself as to it's identity. In these circumstances whilst I value Michael's opinion very highly, the fact they were seen passing at the right time period wouldn't be enough for me. Now if I had Michael stood beside me when I saw it and he confirmed the ID then that would be a different matter!
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Old Sunday 29th February 2004, 21:42   #3
Tom Moodie
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Sorry Surreybirder but I have to agree with IanF on this one, especially for a life tick. LT Skua was a bogey bird for me for a number of years until 2002. Keep seawatching and I'm sure you'll see.

Good luck
Tom
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Old Sunday 29th February 2004, 22:17   #4
Edward woodwood
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if you have notes and a description.....u can tick it
if not.....
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Old Monday 1st March 2004, 03:34   #5
Charles Harper
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Tick it! Tick it! You did see a L-T Jaeger, and you ain't getting any younger.
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Old Monday 1st March 2004, 06:55   #6
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Looks as if it remains a bogey bird.
It was one of those occasions where, by the time I had established it was a skua (white wing flashes primarily) and got its general colour it was too late to start looking for ventral barring etc.
If only a nice adult in breeding plumage would pass me by. It goes without saying that LTSs are rare in Surrey.
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Old Monday 1st March 2004, 07:36   #7
Sven W
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanF
Now if I had Michael stood beside me when I saw it and he confirmed the ID then that would be a different matter!
Personaly, I wouldn't tick it unless I was certain beyond resonable doubt based on my own observations. For lifers I take others ids as indications only. Needless to say, this approach has cost me a number of lifers, but it is a pleasure saved for later occasions.

On the other hand, I know many who doesn't have this rigid approach. They can't possibly get the same enjoyment from a new lifer.
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Old Monday 1st March 2004, 13:20   #8
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The same for me, I only tick when I am really convinced that I am correct (although mistakes are made by everybody). Other people can be a (great) help to point at some species and explain why it is that species, but I still want to see the features myself. It happened already at least two times that someone, who I regarded as an expert, pointed out a possible new lifer, but when I later looked at the photo I made, it showed that it was a different species!

Peter
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