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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Miserable Birders??? (1 Viewer)

Ries

Well-known member
Netherlands
Well, those were two amusing documentaries. Don't see a reason for anyone to quit twitching, however one sees him/herself fit. If it's your passion, go for it. And it's quite the selfsustainable hobby at that, I mean; the total contribution to climate change is such it will become harder to collect a nice year list every next year as more species will become rarer. Might be another plus that more species will wander off searching for new habitats to survive, so maybe more mega's? Nice how all that travel keeps the hobby exciting.
 
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Mike C

Emeritus President at Burnage Rugby Club
England
I was on Scilly when most of the Encounters footage was shot - artist license springs to mind.
That said, the cuckoo twitch is absolutely bang on - I still chat to the guy hop who drive over someone’s foot and it’s still the birder's fault for not moving :ROFLMAO:
 

Mike Cross

Well-known member
I've been birding for just over 30 years and I would say that things have got markedly worse. I think there have always been obnoxious individuals. The first one i encountered was Mr Intheforest. Back in the early 1990s waiting for a boat to Skomer was talking to a man from Hampshire and I shared gen with him (nothing sensitive) about birds in west Wales. I was hoping that he might reciprocate and that he would advise about New Forest birds as my wife is local and we visited regularly (again not rare breeders) but when i asked for more detail his stock reply in Arthur C Pewty from Monty Python tones was an abrupt "in the Forest"
But it has got worse these days. Take bird news. People talk about the old grapevine but then phone lines and pagers and access to news became open to all. We seem to have regressed massively recently. I was at the Hoopoe in Calshot just before Covid. Now Hoopoes being Hoopoes all sorts are there from rabid yearlisters to locals with a passing interest who wish to see the exotic visitor. The bird was not showing and one person went elsewhere to look for it. This guy is probably one of the most obnoxious and arrogant boorish individuals on the birding scene with a huge reputation for suppression, we'll call him Anal to hide his identity. A normal person would say to his mate I'll call you if I see it or I'll ring RBA but no his parting words to him were "I'll put it on whatsapp". In other words hush hush dont let the plebs know. It seems the exclusive grapevines and the egos they massage are back big time.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I've been birding for just over 30 years and I would say that things have got markedly worse. I think there have always been obnoxious individuals. The first one i encountered was Mr Intheforest. Back in the early 1990s waiting for a boat to Skomer was talking to a man from Hampshire and I shared gen with him (nothing sensitive) about birds in west Wales. I was hoping that he might reciprocate and that he would advise about New Forest birds as my wife is local and we visited regularly (again not rare breeders) but when i asked for more detail his stock reply in Arthur C Pewty from Monty Python tones was an abrupt "in the Forest"
But it has got worse these days. Take bird news. People talk about the old grapevine but then phone lines and pagers and access to news became open to all. We seem to have regressed massively recently. I was at the Hoopoe in Calshot just before Covid. Now Hoopoes being Hoopoes all sorts are there from rabid yearlisters to locals with a passing interest who wish to see the exotic visitor. The bird was not showing and one person went elsewhere to look for it. This guy is probably one of the most obnoxious and arrogant boorish individuals on the birding scene with a huge reputation for suppression, we'll call him Anal to hide his identity. A normal person would say to his mate I'll call you if I see it or I'll ring RBA but no his parting words to him were "I'll put it on whatsapp". In other words hush hush dont let the plebs know. It seems the exclusive grapevines and the egos they massage are back big time.
They never went away in Hampshire.

John
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
But it has got worse these days. Take bird news. People talk about the old grapevine but then phone lines and pagers and access to news became open to all. We seem to have regressed massively recently. I was at the Hoopoe in Calshot just before Covid. Now Hoopoes being Hoopoes all sorts are there from rabid yearlisters to locals with a passing interest who wish to see the exotic visitor. The bird was not showing and one person went elsewhere to look for it. This guy is probably one of the most obnoxious and arrogant boorish individuals on the birding scene with a huge reputation for suppression, we'll call him Anal to hide his identity. A normal person would say to his mate I'll call you if I see it or I'll ring RBA but no his parting words to him were "I'll put it on whatsapp". In other words hush hush dont let the plebs know. It seems the exclusive grapevines and the egos they massage are back big time.
Sadly not limited to the UK. I've observed that at least in some areas of the state that less and less information gets out to the general public. If you don't know the right people than you may simply never hear about a bird or not even be allowed access to it. I'd be curious to know what is the cause of this: I have trouble imagining that the percentage of innate jerks has increased in the hobby. Is everyone just extra paranoid about disturbance issues? bad experiences? people more lazy or bird reporting harder? Greater scrutiny over records rubbing people raw? People just increasingly aggravated about everything?
 

Pariah

Stealth Birder
I've been birding for just over 30 years and I would say that things have got markedly worse. I think there have always been obnoxious individuals. The first one i encountered was Mr Intheforest. Back in the early 1990s waiting for a boat to Skomer was talking to a man from Hampshire and I shared gen with him (nothing sensitive) about birds in west Wales. I was hoping that he might reciprocate and that he would advise about New Forest birds as my wife is local and we visited regularly (again not rare breeders) but when i asked for more detail his stock reply in Arthur C Pewty from Monty Python tones was an abrupt "in the Forest"
But it has got worse these days. Take bird news. People talk about the old grapevine but then phone lines and pagers and access to news became open to all. We seem to have regressed massively recently. I was at the Hoopoe in Calshot just before Covid. Now Hoopoes being Hoopoes all sorts are there from rabid yearlisters to locals with a passing interest who wish to see the exotic visitor. The bird was not showing and one person went elsewhere to look for it. This guy is probably one of the most obnoxious and arrogant boorish individuals on the birding scene with a huge reputation for suppression, we'll call him Anal to hide his identity. A normal person would say to his mate I'll call you if I see it or I'll ring RBA but no his parting words to him were "I'll put it on whatsapp". In other words hush hush dont let the plebs know. It seems the exclusive grapevines and the egos they massage are back big time.
There's a great deal of truth there in regards to bird news.
For many years in Ireland, open Twitter feeds, with thousands of followers disseminated news for relevant counties/regions.
When these lost their instant messaging functionality, things regressed into closed WhatsApp groups. Essentially a reduction from thousands of subscribers on an open platform, to a closed platform with just a couple of hundred members (or in the case of some regional/county groups) just a dozen or two.

It's a real barrier for complete new comers who don't have access to the same info.

Regards

Owen
 

MJB

Well-known member
Sadly not limited to the UK. I've observed that at least in some areas of the state that less and less information gets out to the general public. If you don't know the right people than you may simply never hear about a bird or not even be allowed access to it. I'd be curious to know what is the cause of this: I have trouble imagining that the percentage of innate jerks has increased in the hobby. Is everyone just extra paranoid about disturbance issues? bad experiences? people more lazy or bird reporting harder? Greater scrutiny over records rubbing people raw? People just increasingly aggravated about everything?
In society in general, psychologists have noted an increase in overt and covert actions to get ahead of others (dominance), particularly when anonymity or being near the top of a like-minded group provide the context for such actions. However, at the same time these actions (or subsequent actions) are also aimed at stopping others from equalling or getting ahead (counter-dominance).** In short, strong assertions are made in the belief that they will diminish those against whom they are made and attract the support of those who like emphatic statements. A development of this technique is issue a good number of strong assertions at the same time, an action described as a 'Gish Gallop'. Any countering response is met by deflecting to a point not countered, or by a pseudo-innocent 'Please explain?' Evidence, context and logical threads of argument are in short supply...
MJB

**Source: Simon McCarthy-Jones, Trinity College, Dublin, author of Spite... and the upside of your dark side
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
Any countering response is met by deflecting to a point not countered, or by a pseudo-innocent 'Please explain?' Evidence, context and logical threads of argument are in short supply...
MJB
Maybe it's because one really wants to understand your viewpoint.
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
The move to private WhatsApp groups is regrettable and a retrograde step for those of us who aren't part of the grapevine. However, I don't think this necessarily always indicates a more selfish and insular attitude amongst birders, as the behaviour of the major social media platforms has also contributed. Both Facebook and Twitter appear to have significantly changed their algorithms, increasing the amount of paid content directed to users and reducing the visibility of feeds which are directly relevant to their interests.
A few years ago my old school friends primarily used Facebook to communicate, now we use a private WhatsApp group - this is much better and more efficient way of keeping in touch on one level, but means anyone who isn't already part of the group or known by one of its members can't find us.
A few years ago I finally signed up for Twitter, and started following various bird groups and individuals, and reporting sightings to the local bird club Twitter accounts. I find that although these accounts still exist and are functional, my news feed is increasingly dominated by paid content and you need to deliberately search for bird groups and other people you actually want to follow in order to view their posts. In these circumstances, it is understandable that birders turn to WhatsApp.
 

DMW

Well-known member
There has been a marked change in the birding scene in recent years with the arrival of legions of bird photographers, some of whom cause considerable disturbance by trying to get too close to birds. I suspect the increase in local grapevines is at least partly explicable by this phenomenon.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
There has been a marked change in the birding scene in recent years with the arrival of legions of bird photographers, some of whom cause considerable disturbance by trying to get too close to birds. I suspect the increase in local grapevines is at least partly explicable by this phenomenon.
You're saying nobody on a local grapevine ever wields any kind of camera or flushes a bird through incompetent fieldcraft? Pull the other one, its got colour rings on.

John
 

Pariah

Stealth Birder
The move to private WhatsApp groups is regrettable and a retrograde step for those of us who aren't part of the grapevine. However, I don't think this necessarily always indicates a more selfish and insular attitude amongst birders, as the behaviour of the major social media platforms has also contributed. Both Facebook and Twitter appear to have significantly changed their algorithms, increasing the amount of paid content directed to users and reducing the visibility of feeds which are directly relevant to their interests.
A few years ago my old school friends primarily used Facebook to communicate, now we use a private WhatsApp group - this is much better and more efficient way of keeping in touch on one level, but means anyone who isn't already part of the group or known by one of its members can't find us.
A few years ago I finally signed up for Twitter, and started following various bird groups and individuals, and reporting sightings to the local bird club Twitter accounts. I find that although these accounts still exist and are functional, my news feed is increasingly dominated by paid content and you need to deliberately search for bird groups and other people you actually want to follow in order to view their posts. In these circumstances, it is understandable that birders turn to WhatsApp.
This is an issue with Twitter for sure, but with a Facebook group, is only of concern when browsing through timeline. Viewing a group directly has no such issues.

Owen
 

stuartvine

Well-known member
Birding is full of all sorts of people. Most are, at the very least, polite and helpful. However, we've all met the other sort. Some are just a nuisance, treating hides as their personal property and camping there all day (for some strange reason, many are dressed in camo). Others are just a bit grumpy, which is fine, who isn't from time to time? A very few are plain rude, which is not. Just ignore them.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Birding is full of all sorts of people. Most are, at the very least, polite and helpful. However, we've all met the other sort. Some are just a nuisance, treating hides as their personal property and camping there all day (for some strange reason, many are dressed in camo). Others are just a bit grumpy, which is fine, who isn't from time to time? A very few are plain rude, which is not. Just ignore them.
Why is it 'strange'?

Durable, practical, outdoor clothing which doesn't look dirty too quickly (essential on long, foreign trips), is discreet against a multitude of backgrounds. Don't see the issue myself, unless you've met people in body armour with night vision goggles?

Look at the various shirts and hats which are sold by some bird clubs, most are designed and influenced by what you describe as 'camo' wear.
 
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Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
The camo thing is a bit of a uniform for some types, mainly I have to say photographers. I once saw one who even had camo spectacles!

I would be very wary wearing camo in some foreign climes. I have worked on several conservation projects in southern Africa where camo was forbidden.
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
The camo thing is a bit of a uniform for some types, mainly I have to say photographers. I once saw one who even had camo spectacles!

I would be very wary wearing camo in some foreign climes. I have worked on several conservation projects in southern Africa where camo was forbidden.
Patterned camouflage wear is famously forbidden in Trinidad and Tobago.

Wearing army-like camouflage is also a bad idea if you are in a country where guerilla-or poacher-like types are likely to meet a "shoot first, ask questions later" policy.
These chances are minimal (I hope!) at your local gravel pit.

Excessively camouflaged photographers just make me laugh. Good photographers will know that staying in your car is far more effective than walking about with a camouflaged lens.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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