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Subject: Unacceptable disturbance of Cested Buntings at Long Valley [Print This Page]

Author: kmike    Time: 13/11/2010 21:44     Subject: Unacceptable disturbance of Cested Buntings at Long Valley

I spent 15 minutes at Long Valley this afternoon. In that time the Crested Buntings I had come to see were flushed four times in ten minutes by photographers marching up to the birds to get their photos.  I stress that each time the  birds were flushed a photographer was walking deliberately towards them, not creeping slowly forward.

This is completely unacceptable:

1. These were newly arrived migrants were most likely tired, hungry and trying to feed.
2. Many other photographers were also not able to get shots because of the rush to be first to get close to the bird.
3.My own enjoyment was spoiled by those who were thinking only getting their own shot

I am aware that there are many new photographers who may have little knowledge of birds, but at Long Valley this afternoon,it was not always newcomers who were leading the charge.

In such situations where there are many birders and photographers on-site, it is essential for someone to take charge and ensure that everyone has a chance to see and photograph the bird from a distance that does not cause disturbance to the bird.  

I think this is not impossible.  

Many of the photographers have agreed not to use flash when many are gathered to photograph night birds, and the self-policing works well. It must be possible to extend such good practice to other occasions when many people want to see a good bird.   The basic requirement is respect for the wellbeing of the bird and respect for others who also want to see and photograph birds. Sadly this was not on show at Long Valley today.

Mike Kilburn
Vice Chairman
Author: bball    Time: 14/11/2010 00:05

agree
so crowded and so close
right inside the crop field
Author: thinfor    Time: 14/11/2010 00:47

We should cherish the return of Crested Bunting.  So please be considerate.
Author: anncheung0831    Time: 14/11/2010 01:05

Quote:
Original posted by kmike at 13/11/2010 21:44
Many of the photographers have agreed not to use flash when many are gathered to photograph night birds, and the self-policing works well. It must be possible to extend such good practice to other occasions when many people want to see a good bird.   The basic requirement is respect for the wellbeing of the bird and respect for others who also want to see and photograph birds. Sadly this was not on show at Long Valley today.
When I visited Long Valley last time(mid-October, 2010) at around 7~9pm, I saw that a part of Long Valley may had been disturbed by the light from the far-away-buildings(may not from Long Valley/ Hong Kong). It is because I found that even if I did not use a torch, I could still see the pathway easily just like I was walking at around 5~6pm in the summer of Hong Kong. As I believe that birds and other animals are more sensitive to light than human, it might be possible that the strong light caused disruption towards birds.

I think that the birds really have to struggle a lot in order to survive these days because during day time, they may disturbed by the photographers while during night time, they may also disturbed by the strong light from the far-away-buildings. I really hope that more people can realize that it is not easy for plants and animals, especially birds, to survive these days.
Author: Tony    Time: 14/11/2010 16:27

Agree with Mike, I visited LV this morning at around 10:30.
I was not to have a look of the bunting far away when I was walking towards to rice paddy.
I saw some new faces started walking towards the bird when it was already standing quite exposed at the shrub branch tip. It was just around ten seconds that the bird was then flushed away which I was not able to show my friends.

There are people standing steady away from a distance of the bird, but it is really difficult to control indeed. As long as more people did their great job to keep a distance to the bird, hope the others may follow eventually. They shall learn a lesson that chasing the bird may finally ended with nothing taken.
Author: subbuteo    Time: 14/11/2010 17:28

There were many photographers there today- the vast majority of them were standing patiently together waiting for the appearance of birds.  However, there are a few individuals who seem intent on getting a photo and don't have the patience to let the birds come in and present themselves.  Some were charging into the rice to flush the birds out.  I went off to an different rice area were the birds were undisturbed and watched yellow-breasted buntings and chestnut-eared feed for a good fifteen minutes.  The area of rice being harassed by some individuals was birdless (apart from some flighty munias).

There seem to be two approaches to photographing the birds; careful considered photographers who wait for the birds to come in range and then there are the snap happy, shoot from the hip irritants that are reducing everyone's chances of enjoying the birds.

For example- note the lack of birds around this chap (photoshopped to hide his ID!)

Image Attachment: LV paddy.jpg (14/11/2010 17:28, 78.85 KB) / Download count 224
http://www.hkbws.org.hk/BBS/attachment.php?aid=7533


Author: Beetle    Time: 14/11/2010 19:14

Apart from disturbance at the Rice Paddies, I observed some more very bad actions doing to the Crested Serpent Eagle (Yes, it was back today).
One man was first trying to throw a dead tree branch at it to make it fly, but not strong enough to reach the eagle (intensionally Or maybe the man wasn't strong at throwing things).
The eagle remained sitting on the pole, than the old man approached the pole, making noise with his tripod, but still couldn't make the eagle fly.
The man further approached the pole and hit the pole with his tripod and finally managed to make it fly.

The point is seems that those photographers surrounding the pole were encouraging such actions, rather than stopping him. They were all happy to make flying photos of that eagle.


I have got some photos of that event, but not to post it here due to piracy.

Maybe i was not the first one to see such unconsiderate actions, But would still like to point it out.

[ Last edited by Beetle at 14/11/2010 19:19 ]
Author: HKBWS Vicky    Time: 14/11/2010 19:49

I was very excited when I heard that the Crested Bunting has returned to Long Valley. This further proofs that our wetland management is a success. Honestly, in my point of view, Crested Bunting is more exciting than BFS in Long Valley! I still haven't seen this bird, hope they can stay for a few more days. (I was in LV today for the eco-guides training but unable to free myself to see the bird.)

Plese forgive me, I have to remind all the bird watchers and photographers once again about  the "Important note for birding in Long Valley ". Please DO NOT step/walk into the farmland. This is a kind of respect to farmers!!!
Since there are many visitors in Long Valley recently. They are not visiting Long Valley for birds but for taking landscape and other photos. Please behave yourself and leave a good impression to them esp. those who are not familiar with Long Valley.
Although those paddy fields were managed by HKBWS and CA, that doesn't mean you can walk/step into the field!!!! Farmers didn't ask birders and photographers to leave the paddy fields because they are not dare to do so since they receive subsidies from the society.
In addition, there are some narrow bunds between the rice paddies, however, it is not recommended to walk on since the bunds are for other purposes (farmers' use).
Even those harvested farmlands, it is not appropriate to walk on as well. This will give other visitors an impression that they can also walk into other farmlands with crops.  

當我聽到塱原有鳳頭鵐的時候我真的十分開心,因為這進一步證明我們的濕地管理的成效。老實說,我個人認為鳳頭鵐的出現比黑臉琵鷺在塱原出現更加有代表性。(我今早也在塱原, 不過忙於導賞員訓練未能抽身去看鳳頭鵐)

請原諒我"長氣",我必須再次提醒各鳥友和攝影者有關塱原觀鳥注意事項請勿走到農地中,這是對農友的一種基本的尊重。
由於近日塱原出現了大批遊人,不單止鳥友,還有拍攝風景的攝影愛好者,所以請大家自律,不要建立壞形象,亦不要給其他不熟悉塱原的遊人留下錯誤的訊息和印象。
雖然稻米田是由香港觀鳥會和長春社管理,但這並不代表鳥友和攝影者可以走到農地中間!!! 農友沒有叫鳥友和攝影者離開農地,不是因為他們不介意,而是他們不敢這樣做,因為他們是接受鳥會和長春社的資助。
另外,部份稻米田中間可能會有一些很窄的田埂,但這些是農友有特別的用途,不是給人們使用/行在上面的。
還有,我們亦不應該走到那些已收割的稻米田上,因為這會令其他遊人誤以為可以走到其他有農作物的農田上。

Author: Beetle    Time: 14/11/2010 20:27

I can see some structures (probably made by CA) which a flag showing the character "茶" on one of the harvested farmlands, giving an impression that it is some sort of a hide - which encourage people to walk on the farmland.
what are those structures for?
I think it might be appropriate to inform CA about that so that they can make a claim.
Author: Sze    Time: 14/11/2010 20:37

又是多謝朋友捱義氣幫忙翻譯了Mike的帖子!
黑色字為Mike的原文,藍色字是翻譯部份。

Unacceptable disturbance of Crested Buntings at Long Valley
塱原鳳頭鵐受到的滋擾難以接受

I spent 15 minutes at Long Valley this afternoon. In that time the Crested Buntings I had come to see were flushed four times in ten minutes by photographers marching up to the birds to get their photos.  I stress that each time the birds were flushed a photographer was walking deliberately towards them, not creeping slowly forward.
我今天下午在塱原逗留了15分鐘。在這段時間內,我專程來看的鳳頭鵐因鳥攝者為了拍照步步進迫,而在10分鐘內4次驚飛我想強調的是,每次鳥兒被驚嚇至飛走,都是因為有鳥攝者故意走近,而非蹲下慢慢的趨前。

This is completely unacceptable:
這是完全不能接受的:

1. These were newly arrived migrants were most likely tired, hungry and trying to feed.
這些雀鳥是剛剛抵步的遷徙鳥,很大機會是疲憊不堪,而且餓極很想覓食。


2. Many other photographers were also not able to get shots because of the rush to be first to get close to the bird.
由於有些人想率先走近那些雀鳥拍照,雀鳥驚嚇飛走,令其他很多鳥攝者都不能拍照。

3.My own enjoyment was spoiled by those who were thinking only getting their own shot
那些人只顧拍照而滋擾了雀鳥,令觀鳥的我掃興萬分


I am aware that there are many new photographers who may have little knowledge of birds, but at Long Valley this afternoon, it was not always newcomers who were leading the charge.
我明白有很多新加入鳥攝行列的朋友未必對雀鳥有很多認識,但今天下午在塱原作出上述舉動的,並非全是新的鳥攝者


In such situations where there are many birders and photographers on-site, it is essential for someone to take charge and ensure that everyone has a chance to see and photograph the bird from a distance that does not cause disturbance to the bird.  
在有很多觀鳥者和鳥攝者在場的環境之下,如果有人可以控制場面,確保人人都可以從遠處見到和拍到雀鳥,而又不會對鳥兒構成滋擾,這是十分重要的。

I think this is not impossible.  
我相信這並非不可能的。


Many of the photographers have agreed not to use flash when many are gathered to photograph night birds, and the self-policing works well. It must be possible to extend such good practice to other occasions when many people want to see a good bird.   The basic requirement is respect for the wellbeing of the bird and respect for others who also want to see and photograph birds. Sadly this was not on show at Long Valley today.
很多鳥攝者同意在多人聚集一起拍攝夜間的鳥類時不用閃燈,這個自律的方式行之有效。要將這個良好的做法伸延至其他很多人都想見到珍稀雀鳥的場合,相信一定是可行的。最基本的條件,是尊重鳥兒的福祉,並尊重其他想見到和拍到該雀鳥的人。可惜的是,今天在塱原並沒有出現這個情況。


Mike Kilburn
Vice Chairman

吳敏
香港觀鳥會副主席


[ Last edited by Sze at 14/11/2010 20:45 ]
Author: stephenlwb8    Time: 19/11/2010 08:23

Quote:
Original posted by Sze at 14/11/2010 20:37
又是多謝朋友捱義氣幫忙翻譯了Mike的帖子!
黑色字為Mike的原文,藍色字是翻譯部份。

Unacceptable disturbance of Crested Buntings at Long Valley
塱原鳳頭鵐受到的滋擾難以接受

I spent 15 minutes at Long Valley ...
I think it is more useful to raise these points in the popular photo web instead in HKBWS.
Author: ajohn    Time: 19/11/2010 14:15

Quote:
I think it is more useful to raise these points in the popular photo web instead in HKBWS.
I think you may be right. I think one problem may be that people who have recently taken up wildlife photography do not have the experience of bird behaviour to recognise that their actions could have a significant impact on the birds, even affecting the chances of survival. Also, maybe some people think that Long Valley is managed for the benefit of the visitors, and forget that this is an actively farmed landscape.

Unfortunately, I think many of the people on this forum raising these concerns are not members of other websites for popular photography, and may not know the best forum to approach to post these concerns. Certainly, I do not know where to find the most popular photography websites.

If anyone who is reading these threads on this website is also a member of these popular photography websites, could you please post something to those sites to remind these photographers that their actions may actually affect the survival of the birds they are photographing, as well as the livelihood of the farmers at Long Valley.
Author: Sze    Time: 21/11/2010 00:19

Some members had posted the similar conservation message to some popular photography forum before. However, since some of the people dislike or disagree what we say, it just got a unhappy ending which a little bit like the case of Mai Po Black Drongo Nest.
Author: EricB    Time: 21/11/2010 18:23

I ‘ll be the devils advocate. Nobody wants to offend people but this is a challenging situation, which would benefit from a practical solution.

1.To avoid any ambiguity. THE WELFARE OF THE BIRD COMES FIRST.

2.The reality of walking in the country side/ birding is that birds are flushed unintentionally or intentionally. If you want no disturbance of a bird, you have to stay at home!
I would be surprised if any members of this forum have never intentionally flushed or ‘followed’ (chased) a bird off a trail to try to obtain a satisfactory view. Birds fortunately do have the ability to fly away.

3.Most people who have any appreciation of nature will have an idea when they have crossed the boundary from minor disturbance to harassment. Your duty as a fellow nature enthusiast is to help people who are struggling with this concept of field craft.

4.I can imagine the situation described at Long Valley and understand why people might do what was done. A degree of diplomacy is required in crowd control.
I strongly agree one or two people need to take charge, ideally a birder and a photographer. Peer pressure is a powerful tool and perhaps the only one you have  in this situation.  
(I suspect a lecture on field craft is probably not best delivered under what must have been an upsetting and frustrating  experience for many present.)

5. An arbitrary limit of comfort for the bird is not easy to work out. Photographers want to be close to their subject, birders with scopes obviously can give the bird more breathing space. The reality is that everyone has to compromise.

6.THE IMPORTANT BIT:
Although it can be argued that ‘kicking  a crested bunting’ is a heinous crime, in reality there is another, bigger side to the event.

The fact these people want to take photo of birds is a great start. The more people out there enjoying birds, the greater the chance some of them will get interested in doing more than pointing their lenses at birds. Eventually, some of these people will want to preserve good habitat and that has to be the ultimate goal for long term bird welfare.


Our priority should be to give them a hand to reach this level of understanding. All people ( novices and experienced) can benefit from a good  mentor.

Ric




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