Uncounted not = uncountable

Bill Smith pwsmith at techline.com
Sat Feb 13 12:08:54 PST 1999

Michael Price writes:

> Just so we're clear. This vote is not about countability, except on


> informal personal lists. The formal vote has already been taken not

once but

> twice by the duly constituted BC Bird Records Committee. [snip]

Formally, this

> renders this particular individual uncountable on anything but a

personal list. [snip]

I think Michael Price misspoke. Yes, the B.C. Rarities Committee didn't
"count" the XAHU, but that affects nothing but their own "official"
list. They are not (I hope) the birding police, nor even a legislative
body. Like all records committees, they're just a bunch of poor twits
with opinions and a little power (I've been on a couple and speak from
some experience).

I agree with Michael that the voting is misplaced; it should be (by
BC'ers) on whether the BCRC and/or particular members of it are acting
with good judgment. Surely the relevant birding community can express
"no confidence" in their Committee. And just as Canadians and other
foreigners have commented on recent actions in The Other Washington, I
think the rest of us may kibitz from the sidelines.

I might add, contrary to Michael's other suggestion, that I am not an
emotional twitcher needing to keep that bird on my list. I didn't even
(try to) see it.

An irony, perhaps: the British, who invented records committees
like these, have moved beyond this particular issue. Their guideline
now is to accept a proven identification of a plausible vagrant unless
there is specific evidence that the bird either was restrained by man or
was given food and water en route. Even proven ship-assistance, where
the bird simply rode as a passenger, does not disqualify it.
Adaptability (evolution) in action.
P W (Bill) Smith
Grays Harbor, Washington USA
pwsmith at techline.com

More information about the Tweeters mailing list