Unacceptable disturbance of Cested Buntings at Long Valley

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.

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.