Dennis Paulson's Statement

Mike Patterson celata at pacifier.com
Tue Jul 24 08:10:11 PDT 2001


There are several rules I try to follow when expressing reservations
about a particular report:
1.  I send my note off list and give the observer the opportunity
to make the public corrections.
2.  I generally phrase the note: "This would be unusual [this time
of year, for this place, in these numbers]."  And I then provide a
list of more likely alternatives.  I also make the recommendation,
if they believe they are certain of the report, that they write a
few details and send them to the records committee and/or fieldnotes
editor.
3.  I always try to follow up on reports when they are in my patch,
no matter how skeptical I am.  That's why I have seen Gray-crowned Rosy
Finch and Common Redpoll in Clatsop County.  
4.  I try to set an example by providing details of those unusual
species I see and correcting any public claims I've made which turn
out to be a product of my over zealousness or inexperience (I've
been at this for 30 years now and am still making mistakes and learning
new things).

"Korpi, Ray" wrote:
> 
> Tweets,
> I have been lurking as usual, and read with interest Dennis Paulson's
> statement about the shorebird reports.  He's right on target here--in our
> quest to be open-minded about sightings at times, we probably haven't called
> some records into question.  On OBOL, such discussions at times have become
> contentious, but they are an important part of the learning process in
> birding.  In order for our reports to maintain their legitimacy, we need to
> ask questions and police ourselves; otherwise, the contributions of
> "amateurs" that have been criticized in political circles as biased and in
> error will become less and less legitimate, even though they are more often
> than not true.
> 
> Hopefully, one day, I'll get back out in the field (or even just out of the
> damned office) and be able to defend a report of my own.  Good birding to
> all,
> RK
> 
> Ray Korpi, PhD                          "In March, with the cliff swallows
> in Mexico
> Clark College                            headed north, the committee
> meetings
> Vancouver, WA                            will not even be put on the
> calendar."
>                                                 --John Janovy, Jr., Keith
> County Journal

-- 
Mike Patterson               Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo,
Astoria, OR                  it is not enough to be persecuted    
celata at pacifier.com            by an unkind establishment,
                             you must also be right. 
                                                     ---Robert Park
http://www.pacifier.com/~mpatters/bird/bird.html


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