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The British List and Single Observer Records (1 Viewer)

Brett Spencer

Well-known member
In light of the Tropicbird fiasco, I reckon that the number of records for rarities in this country should be categorized. A bit like you have A, B and C categories for species on the British List. Though, I must add here that all Cat. C species should be removed from the British List. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, so, multi-observed records would say be Cat. A in the numbers total and single observer records would say be Cat. B. Even if the latter was photographed, if only seen by one observer, it would still go into the Cat. B totals. Here I present an example and it is not in anyway accurate, it's purely an example. Let's just pretend Blackbird were a rarity.

Blackbird - A= 237 B= 142 Total= 379

That way, you can differentiate between confirmed records and the others that can be termed as reported. It doesn't mean that we don't believe the single observer records, I mean, I've been there myself, but if there is any shit going through, you can do a more accurate statistical analysis of rare bird occurrences. If that's your thing, of course.

Obviously, it won't work in all occasions, for example, the mass delusional and hallucinating lot that saw that Curlew thingy up north.

Time for a cup of tea and a biscuit me thinks. Now where did I put me tablets.
 

crabplover

Well-known member
In light of the Tropicbird fiasco, I reckon that the number of records for rarities in this country should be categorized. A bit like you have A, B and C categories for species on the British List. Though, I must add here that all Cat. C species should be removed from the British List. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, so, multi-observed records would say be Cat. A in the numbers total and single observer records would say be Cat. B. Even if the latter was photographed, if only seen by one observer, it would still go into the Cat. B totals. Here I present an example and it is not in anyway accurate, it's purely an example. Let's just pretend Blackbird were a rarity.

Blackbird - A= 237 B= 142 Total= 379

That way, you can differentiate between confirmed records and the others that can be termed as reported. It doesn't mean that we don't believe the single observer records, I mean, I've been there myself, but if there is any shit going through, you can do a more accurate statistical analysis of rare bird occurrences. If that's your thing, of course.

Obviously, it won't work in all occasions, for example, the mass delusional and hallucinating lot that saw that Curlew thingy up north.

Time for a cup of tea and a biscuit me thinks. Now where did I put me tablets.

Do you really expect people to take this suggestion seriously?
I hope for your sake the tablets work.
And what was the recent Tropicbird fiasco? the way I read it, One guy got lucky, found a mega, photographed it and will hopefully submit it. For those who missed it - Get over it !


Andy.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Wouldn't a basic problem of this be a skewing of records - for every hundred rare seabirds past Pendeen for example, I would guess 90 or more are seen by multiple observers. For the same number of rare seabirds off a productive headland in the Hebs, or wherever, probably a small fraction are seen by multiple observers.

Therefore, the scheme you suggest would (partly) reflect popularity of the birding locality, not the absolute frequencies of occurrences. This would become ever more skewed as single observers would simply not bother sending in records if automatically dumped in the 'C bin' - not only would this remove genuine records across the board, but again result in far more records lost from underwatched areas.

Also, you post this thread 'in light of the Tropicbird fiasco' ...what is the fiasco? Is there general discussion regarding the reliability of the record? I though it was a mass moan that the gathered crowd above were not told about the bird. Just 'cos the mass didn't see it, why should this result in the record being binned?
 

Bluto

'Where's the photos?'
In light of the Tropicbird fiasco, I reckon that the number of records for rarities in this country should be categorized. A bit like you have A, B and C categories for species on the British List. Though, I must add here that all Cat. C species should be removed from the British List. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, so, multi-observed records would say be Cat. A in the numbers total and single observer records would say be Cat. B. Even if the latter was photographed, if only seen by one observer, it would still go into the Cat. B totals. Here I present an example and it is not in anyway accurate, it's purely an example. Let's just pretend Blackbird were a rarity.

Blackbird - A= 237 B= 142 Total= 379

That way, you can differentiate between confirmed records and the others that can be termed as reported. It doesn't mean that we don't believe the single observer records, I mean, I've been there myself, but if there is any shit going through, you can do a more accurate statistical analysis of rare bird occurrences. If that's your thing, of course.

Obviously, it won't work in all occasions, for example, the mass delusional and hallucinating lot that saw that Curlew thingy up north.

Time for a cup of tea and a biscuit me thinks. Now where did I put me tablets.

Obviously a wind-up...
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I know not everybody submits to the committees everything they see, so I can immediately see occasions coming when 500 people saw something but only one person submits the record. Is the committee going to accept hearsay about how many observers saw the bird? I thought the whole point was to get away from hearsay.

I can't wait for BBRC to receive a single observer record from Brett Spencer.....

John
 

Brett Spencer

Well-known member
I have submitted single observer records and it would bother me if it/they were categorized as such. This hearsay business though, what happens if you are deaf?
 

Gastronaut

_______________
Isn't this rather missing the point of the rarity committee decision? If they've found it acceptable then it shouldn't matter how many saw it, it's been judged and considered reliable. I'm sure they take into account if there's only one observer when reaching their decision.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Isn't this rather missing the point of the rarity committee decision? If they've found it acceptable then it shouldn't matter how many saw it, it's been judged and considered reliable. I'm sure they take into account if there's only one observer when reaching their decision.

Observer familiar with the species..... committee familiar with the observer!

Quite.

John
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
Fiasco is an interesting word particularly when used appropriately - this thread might be a good example;)

The etymology is from late Latin/Italian meaning a bottle/container/flask so quite how the meaning of a ludicrous incident/situation is a bit puzzling?

Anyway, time for one of these - a 'fiasco' of Chianti! Particularly if you are birding on Shetland.

Laurie:t:
 

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Pariah

Stealth Birder
Observer familiar with the species..... committee familiar with the observer!

Quite.

John

You also have the situation where that goes very, very badly wrong, and observers turn around and decide to become UNfamiliar with the committee. ;)

I can think of one such committee with very little support/submissions from the next generation of birders. :-O

Owen
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
You also have the situation where that goes very, very badly wrong, and observers turn around and decide to become UNfamiliar with the committee. ;)

I can think of one such committee with very little support/submissions from the next generation of birders. :-O

Owen

You are quite right and I know one or two birders who have reached that point. Given the number of their found birds I have happily twitched I do not understand the committees' actions and my own respect for them is diminished as a result.

John
 

Zheljko

Well-known member
You cannot be in two (or more) places at once, so if several single rare birds of the same species (tropicbird, albatross, whatever) appear in different locations and there is one observer at each site, it would be counted as the "lower" category by your scale, but if only one bird appear at one site and was seen (and photographed) by five persons it would count as a higher category.

Most of birders here regularly visit their local patches and share photos of any less common species (and common species in interesting poses), so if weather conditions on a certain day are excellent for, say, sandpipers and their kind, or migrating passerines etc., my inbox gets several series of pictures of species that would be my lifers or at least first for this year, and therefore = rare species, made by various observers who were the only ones at these particular locations as the other observers were at other locations.
 
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Alcina

Melkorendil
Fiasco is an interesting word particularly when used appropriately - this thread might be a good example;)

The etymology is from late Latin/Italian meaning a bottle/container/flask so quite how the meaning of a ludicrous incident/situation is a bit puzzling?

Anyway, time for one of these - a 'fiasco' of Chianti! Particularly if you are birding on Shetland.

Laurie:t:

I believe that the etymology is as follows:

In the days when bottles were hand blown, some of them came out distorted; their bottoms weren't flat and they wouldn't stand up. These failed bottles weren't binned, they were sold off as 'flasks' ('fiasci') at a lower price than you would get for a properly made bottle, and used for cheap wine. Hence a fiasco is a bottaglia that didn't work!
 

Mike Cross

Well-known member
I have submitted single observer records and it would bother me if it/they were categorized as such. This hearsay business though, what happens if you are deaf?

It's great because you don't have to listen to the dirge they released in the name of music, pure and simple. Mind you Kym Marsh.................
 

auchinbowie

Well-known member
This reminds me of the theological discussion of how many angels can stand on a pinhead. Many listers take it seriously but then so did the priests who burned heretics who got the answer wrong.

Surely what really matters is the status of our native species? Certainly it is nice that vagrants turn up and give pleasure to those who see them. In comparison to the potential loss of species like Dotterel, they are of little consequence. They are just the cherries on the cake. I am sure most of us would be far more excited to have Red-backed Shrike back as a breeding species than to have a new doomed vagrant arrive here.

I am sure that, if I checked, I would find that some of my observations, reported to various county recorders over the years, have not been accepted.

Does it matter? No. Do I care? Not much. I got the pleasure, even if I was wrong. In these circumstances the rest is trivia.

Do I care about the overall trends and health of the less common native species? You bet I do!

Dave
 
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Andy Hurley

Opus Editor
Opus Editor
Scotland
Surely a well evidenced submission is going to be taken seriously by any committee. A good picture beats a thousand words. Also quality sound recordings are proof enough. If there is no evidence, except a claim the x was seen at y, even if it is by the best expert in the world, its still only hearsay.
 

Zheljko

Well-known member
Surely a well evidenced submission is going to be taken seriously by any committee. A good picture beats a thousand words. Also quality sound recordings are proof enough. If there is no evidence, except a claim the x was seen at y, even if it is by the best expert in the world, its still only hearsay.

BTW a Little Bunting was mist-netted in far north of my country earlier this morning. It is the second record for our country. I don't know the specific procedure but some persons' names were listed as the "confirmers". In any case the little bird in the pictures looks beautiful; I wish it was more common; it is somehow neat and has warm colors.
 

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