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Springwatch 2022 (2 Viewers)

JTweedie

Well-known member
I applaud the group but 200 on a walk is insane especially if they only have a couple of knowledgeable guides. 20 max would be sensible and less if possible.

However I entirely endorse Yu Shan's comment about being descended on by that amount of people at once, fastest way to destroy any hope of welcome and integration. Goodness knows enough people complain on here about crowds of twitchers who mostly know what they are doing!

John
It feels like it's been more successful than they'd imagine and it does sound like it's got a bit out of control hence their max limit of 200. I do agree that that's too many people at once, but I'd hope that as I mentioned that people gain confidence to go out on their own. I bet there are people on the walks who never imagined in a million years that there would be another 200 people there and who'd prefer being alone or on smaller groups.

As an aside, they were asked what their top two suggestions were for people getting into birding and it made me think of the thing I always suggest for newbies: don't be overwhelmed by all the birds in the bird book. Become more familiar with birds you see around you and then gradually build up the number of bird species you see.

I can remember being just out of primary school and looking at my first bird book and thinking I could pop out for a walk in some nearby farmland and I'd see a golden oriole - it's about managing expectations and easing into the hobby.
 

Euan Buchan

The Edinburgh Birdwatcher
Supporter
Scotland
I enjoyed The Bee eaters last night on the programme still haven’t seen them yet. Overal it was not a bad series not the best, bit annoying they are going back to the same place for Autumnwatch willing to bet Iolo will be back in Mull only Megan goes to different places.
 

YuShan

hikingbirdman.com
United Kingdom
I was a bit surprised that the Nightjar didn't remove the dead chick. Wouldn't the smell attract predators? (especially risky for a ground nesting bird).
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
Was that really a Kestrel chick that the Golden Eagle had caught and fed to it's young in Episode 10 around the 10th minute?
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
Just watched the section on the Flock Together group. I found the section awe inspiring. Well done to them. I am trying to Imagine what a walk of 200 people would look like at a nature reserve. Could mean a lot of money for a nature reserve.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Just watched the section on the Flock Together group. I found the section awe inspiring. Well done to them. I am trying to Imagine what a walk of 200 people would look like at a nature reserve. Could mean a lot of money for a nature reserve.
I've been in any number of groups of 200 + at nature reserves, but they were twitchers who knew what they were about and were self-organising (and transient).

Now try to imagine that many hoping to be led and shown what to do, how to watch, what they are looking at, with only a couple of facilitators. No hides will accommodate 200 at once, not many reserves have sufficient hides for that many even spread between them.

It's lunacy and as likely to put people off because they can't get timely advice and help due to the insane ratio of aspirants to facilitators. The only way this can work is to take much smaller groups and have no more than 1 facilitator to 10 (or fewer) new birdwatchers. Getting all of those people out at once was nothing but a publicity stunt, which seems hard on them, the reserve and the wildlife.

It's not enough to have good intentions.

John
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
I said above already, but I honestly think it's been more popular than they ever expected. I agree that it's too many people for the facilitators to manage, but they might be taking a more experiential approach - leading people on a walk through the reserve from A to B but perhaps not actually stopping to teach - more a pied piper of everyone just following the leader and "experiencing" being out in nature. But if they want it to be about passing on knowledge then they should think about reducing the numbers substantially.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I said above already, but I honestly think it's been more popular than they ever expected. I agree that it's too many people for the facilitators to manage, but they might be taking a more experiential approach - leading people on a walk through the reserve from A to B but perhaps not actually stopping to teach - more a pied piper of everyone just following the leader and "experiencing" being out in nature. But if they want it to be about passing on knowledge then they should think about reducing the numbers substantially.
I remember you saying so, but in that case either they should (a) have had plans ready to implement dependent on response quantity or (b) should immediately have recognised the problem and devised a new approach that would be effective - including, perhaps, reaching out to extant groups to ask for experienced facilitators to meet the immediate problem before a progamme with more walks but limited numbers could be promulgated. This sort of thing has to be managed, and that is itself a scarce skillset that has to be recognised as a requirement before you start.

John
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
I remember you saying so, but in that case either they should (a) have had plans ready to implement dependent on response quantity or (b) should immediately have recognised the problem and devised a new approach that would be effective - including, perhaps, reaching out to extant groups to ask for experienced facilitators to meet the immediate problem before a progamme with more walks but limited numbers could be promulgated. This sort of thing has to be managed, and that is itself a scarce skillset that has to be recognised as a requirement before you start.

John

I think you need to give them a break. It's just a bunch of people who didn't see people like them out birding and they decided to try and do something about it. I'm sure things will get better for them over time.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I think you need to give them a break. It's just a bunch of people who didn't see people like them out birding and they decided to try and do something about it. I'm sure things will get better for them over time.
I hope so, but it really doesn't help if it isn't done well and only time will tell whether the people they managed to attract with their undeniable enthusiasm persist in the hobby.

I've been to a few start-up events that were badly organised or conducted and it is a real obstacle to ongoing engagement. The important thing is to not only learn lessons but also to make sure those lessons are easily available to new starting groups. Which is perhaps one reason why ghettoising birding with new, special interest group organisations instead of engaging with extant ones like the local RSPB groups or county trusts is not a great idea, whatever the organisers of this one may think.

John
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
I've been in any number of groups of 200 + at nature reserves, but they were twitchers who knew what they were about and were self-organising (and transient).

Now try to imagine that many hoping to be led and shown what to do, how to watch, what they are looking at, with only a couple of facilitators. No hides will accommodate 200 at once, not many reserves have sufficient hides for that many even spread between them.

It's lunacy and as likely to put people off because they can't get timely advice and help due to the insane ratio of aspirants to facilitators. The only way this can work is to take much smaller groups and have no more than 1 facilitator to 10 (or fewer) new birdwatchers. Getting all of those people out at once was nothing but a publicity stunt, which seems hard on them, the reserve and the wildlife.

It's not enough to have good intentions.

John


I doubt all 200 will try and fit in one hide all at once. I am sure many will wait for a turn or even spread out over a reserve or area. They just possibly meet at a starting point and then go their own ways. Maybe most of these people have been treated unfairly when out alone or in small numbers
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
I think you need to give them a break. It's just a bunch of people who didn't see people like them out birding and they decided to try and do something about it. I'm sure things will get better for them over time.

I am guessing that is the issue - feeling like the odd one out and people giving you that look that says "I don't expect to see you're kind here" - not that they actually don't want to in many cases.
 

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