[Tweeters] Guardian Unlimited: US imposes controls on a new security threat - birdwatchers

lewis at eecs.berkeley.edu lewis at eecs.berkeley.edu
Mon Jul 11 14:41:48 PDT 2005

----- Original Message -----
From: birding at zipcon.net
Date: Monday, July 11, 2005 9:57 am
Subject: [Tweeters] Guardian Unlimited: US imposes controls on a new security threat - birdwatchers

> Ian Paulsen spotted this on the Guardian Unlimited site and thought

> you should see it.


> -------

> Note from Ian Paulsen:


Of course the need for discretion with binoculars, cameras, and sensitive acoustic recording equipment is not new. Even if one is discrete, surprises can occur. I recall returning to my car from an afternoon of birding around Searsville Lake (now associated with Stanford's Jasper Ridge Preserve) one spring afternoon in the late 1950s . I was greeted by a policeman who considered the concept of birdwatching utterly implausible. I must have been up to something else. He soon was joined by a deputy sheriff, and the two of them insisted on searching my car . I thought the whole thing was pretty amusing. It could be less amusing when the confrontation is with conspicuously-armed police or military personnel in a third-world country. In spite of being extremely careful about when I uncover my lenses or microphones and where I point them, I've had a few of these-- including one with one of Mugabe's soldiers,who emerged from a thicket in an otherwise uninhabited area
south of Harare. That was in 1986, when things were going pretty well in Zimbabwe. I had a similar confrontation in a national park in the tepui country of Venezuela, and another in the lowlands of Ecuador. With those few exceptions, my recollections of field trips are filled with memories of being amazed at how accepting people are, everywhere, and how many private fields and backyards I've been invited to enter. Those are the memories I like to focus on.

Ted Lewis
Bainbridge Island

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