Dennis Paulson's Statement

Mike Patterson celata at
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
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            by an unkind establishment,
                             you must also be right. 
                                                     ---Robert Park

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