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Birdguides, Twitter or...? (1 Viewer)

Kevriano

Active member
United Kingdom
Hello all.
I'm curious as to how you follow or find out about sightings local to you? I know that some are necessarily kept quiet, but many seem to pass me by for days, by which time it's often too late. I have never used Twitter, it always seemed stupid, but I do think a lot of sightings get reported this way. I do use the free version of Bird Guides, which has proved useful, but often times is highly suspect too, as I've seen reports of birds that were clearly not there (Purple Heron recently reported from a hide I was sitting in at the time, and all that was there were Great Egrets and Grey Herons).
Clearly much local knowledge is required to find birds yourself, which I have to some extent, but there is no way it's all done that way.
Interested in peoples thoughts, Kev
 

Dave Ball

Well-known member
Hello all.
I'm curious as to how you follow or find out about sightings local to you? I know that some are necessarily kept quiet, but many seem to pass me by for days, by which time it's often too late. I have never used Twitter, it always seemed stupid, but I do think a lot of sightings get reported this way. I do use the free version of Bird Guides, which has proved useful, but often times is highly suspect too, as I've seen reports of birds that were clearly not there (Purple Heron recently reported from a hide I was sitting in at the time, and all that was there were Great Egrets and Grey Herons).
Clearly much local knowledge is required to find birds yourself, which I have to some extent, but there is no way it's all done that way.
Interested in peoples thoughts, Kev
The problem with the free view of Birdguides is that I believe it doesn’t differentiate between positive and negative news. So the message you saw when the bird wasn’t present might have read, in full, something like:

[Full date and time stamp]
Purple Heron in [county where Kev is]
[site Kev is at]
Time seen: [current time]

No sign from [hide Kev is in] by [a few minutes ago]
 

Kevriano

Active member
United Kingdom
The problem with the free view of Birdguides is that I believe it doesn’t differentiate between positive and negative news. So the message you saw when the bird wasn’t present might have read, in full, something like:

[Full date and time stamp]
Purple Heron in [county where Kev is]
[site Kev is at]
Time seen: [current time]

No sign from [hide Kev is in] by [a few minutes ago]
Well it does list the "no sign of" posts too. The PH was repeatedly reported for 3 days after, but it never was there, just misinformation or poor ID skills...
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
Local meaning borough to me - I keep direct contact with local birders. For regional news and national news I use Rare Bird Alert Map and Birdguides. I don't tend to go for everything that turns up - usually keep it within an hour when I do go. If something has turned up locally then I check local websites/forums for sightings. I saw the news of Spotted Sandpiper back in May at Greater Manchester on birdguides and then I went on Rare Bird Alert map and it showed it was at Elton Res. I checked the Elton thread on Manchester Birding Forum and saw it had been seen by a reputable poster. The off we went and within 25 minutes were there.
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
For local stuff I use a combination of a local forum and Twitter. The forum doesn't have up to the minute breaking news but then I'm not the "drop everything and get there" type. It does keep one abreast of what's about at local hotshots. On Twitter there is a useful person who knows and follows lots of local birders and retweets their sightings, so you only need to follow that account.

If I am going away I will sus out the appropriate website/Twitter feed for the area and look at those.

I have never bothered with the bird info services. I'm not a twitcher so don't need the up to the minute stuff and any local news will make it to the sources I use. I have tried the free versions and info provided is of little use, vague locations with negative news mixed together with sightings without the indication of which is which. I am not complaining, they have to make their money, but I see little value in the free feeds.

I have used eBird in the USA and it was great but I find the coverage in the UK to be very patchy, but always worth a look just in case.
 

Andy Lakin

Well-known member
A lot of people are using WhatsApp for local stuff. It is a fantastic way of alerting locals very quickly to things such as flyover birds to give people a chance. It is also a great way of getting a second opinion if required before you disseminate the news to a wider audience. It is also a great way of getting info r.e access, exactly where to go etc. Another thingnI like about WhatsApp etc is the ability for people to put a map on with a dropped pin which can be a great help.
 

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