Bird photography – a new code of practice

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Phil
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#41
A kingfisher question. I have discovered a nest, presumably with chicks as the parents are carrying fish to it flat out. It is less than 2 meters from a path along the river bank that is very busy especially at weekends as it leads into a National Trust property and there is also fishing stands at both sides of the nest. What would count as a disturbance here? i have got a few shots of them further up river at one of their favourite fishing spots but have avoided the nest, mostly so that i dont draw attention to it. I went down this morning at 6 am and observed them from a distance and they are busy feeding and were a pleasure to watch.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#42
It sounds like you have been very responsible in your attitude so far. It sounds as if they are in an area that is regularly frequented by people so they may be semi-habituated to their presence. Once fishermen get into position they don't tend to move very much, do they? So an extra person sitting still with a long pointy thing might not cause them any further anxiety. Early morning visits also sound like an excellent way of going about it. A hide would be ideal. or alternatively, can you work out where they are catching fish ?

In my opinion you will be able to tell if you are disturbing them if your presence causes them to change their behaviour. You've observed them regularly taking food to a nest. If that continues - even after a short period of uncertainty - then I would take the attitude (if it was me) that I was not causing disturbance.

That's just my opinion though. Others may differ!
 
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3,729
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Frank
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#43
I'd be wary about trying to shoot them at the nest. Not because of any effect you may have on the birds, but the effect you may have on other people. Loads of people wouldn't have the observational skills to realise that there was a Kingfisher nest at that site. But if they see you sitting still, pointing a camera in that direction they they may put two and two together. And they may not be as careful as you - indeed, the worst case scenario is that they might think that collecting Kingfisher eggs might be a good idea.

So, I'd follow Jeremy's advice and look for their favourite fishing spots.
 
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2,890
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Phil
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#44
Thanks guys. i did get a few shots yesterday morning of them at a fishing spot but it was before 7am at f6.4 and iso 2500 so they arent the best.vi only have a sigma 150-500 to use. I have been careful not to draw any attention to the best going at 6am to watch them and leaving at 7.30 before anyone else is about.
 

Cobra

Mr. Floyd
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Phitt, Hissy Phitt
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#47
Guy's, Please that'll do.
Jeremy, by linking your blog / website you opened yourself up to criticism.
Maybe it would have been better just to made your point in your post.

Neil I don't know if there is any "histrory" between you two or not.
But there is always the ignore button.
And that works both ways ;)
 

Neil B

Suspended / Banned
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#48
Guy's, Please that'll do.
Jeremy, by linking your blog / website you opened yourself up to criticism.
Maybe it would have been better just to made your point in your post.

Neil I don't know if there is any "histrory" between you two or not.
But there is always the ignore button.
And that works both ways ;)
No history, as you said a simple "bird call was being used" would have done.
 
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Neil
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#49
The greatest threat to bird species is habitat destruction for agriculture and human settlement. Nothing else even comes close. Oil spills, wind-farms, pesticides? Trivial. If you want to protect bird species, don't have children. Simple. Oh, and don't hunt them. Although hunting them just removes them before their forest is inevitably clear-cut for a housing estate or palm-oil plantation anyway. Really makes little difference in the long run.
 
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Joe
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#50
Very interesting, too many people think it is their right to abuse the countryside with absolutely no regard for the wildllfe and the habitat that they live in.
 
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754
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#52
As to ethics I might point out that an awful lot of professional bird guides use recording to call birds into view. I don't know if any knows to what degree this stresses the birds but can't be good if the guide is regularly bringing birders to the same site.
 
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chris
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#53
Thanks for the link Jerry, it was an interesting read...
I have to agree with Jerry, this kind of behaviour annoys me so much too. I live only a few miles from Titchwell and many other wonderful Birding sites in Norfolk and the number of times I've been out looking for wildlife in general only to find an MP3 playing to a attract a 'rare' or indeed not so rare in some instances.
Surely part of the pleasure is to find species naturally, not to lure them out like prey being stalked.
I think we've become victims of an impatient world where good field craft is replaced by technology...and not in good way.
Imo, playing calls or baiting are both alien to the true world of birding / photography.
 
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1,913
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chris
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#54
As to ethics I might point out that an awful lot of professional bird guides use recording to call birds into view. I don't know if any knows to what degree this stresses the birds but can't be good if the guide is regularly bringing birders to the same site.
I'm afraid it's about the money, not the birds welfare. Too many people in the world of Birding are only interested in the rarer finds and not the common species which is sad.
I'm sure it must have some effect as they are being lured away from there chosen habitat to put in an appearance for the crowd.
Not good practice in my opinion.
 
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1,255
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Peter
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#55
It's all very much like safari photography in Mara/Serengeti/anywhere in Africa...too many times I have seen Jeeps being driven or surrounding the game. Big cats and Vultures already know if there is a cluster of jeeps in a certain place that there is an opportunity for food....We found in SA that it is more rewarding animals coming to you rather than the other way round...being surrounded by rhinos or elephants that approach you and who don't feel threatened as they've come to you is wonderful
 
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Bird on a Stick
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#56
I wish I could get this message across to the young Tossers that wander around my locality with Air Rifles taking pot shots at anything that moves.

eddie
As it is illegal to use (or even carry without a good excuse) an air gun unless on private land with the owner's permission, I suggest you use your long lens and give the photos to the police.
 
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831
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Tony
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#58
Schedule 1 - Part I

Birds and their young, for which it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb at, on or near an ‘active’ nest. Schedule 1 status also infers a right of arrest by a police officer if someone is suspected of committing certain offences against one of these species.
Avocet
Bee-eater
Bittern
Bittern, little
Bluethroat
Brambling
Bunting, cirl
Bunting, Lapland
Bunting, snow
Buzzard, honey
Capercaillie (Scotland only)
Chough
Corncrake
Crake, spotted
Crossbills (all species)
Divers (all species)
Dotterel
Duck, long-tailed
Eagle, golden
Eagle, white-tailed
Falcon, gyr
Fieldfare
Firecrest
Garganey
Godwit, black-tailed
Goshawk
Grebe, black-necked
Grebe, Slavonian
Greenshank
Gull, little
Gull, Mediterranean
Harriers (all species)
Heron, purple
Hobby
Hoopoe
Kingfisher
Kite, red
Merlin
Oriole, golden
Osprey
Owl, barn
Owl, snowy
Peregrine
Petrel, Leach's
Phalarope, red-necked
Plover, Kentish
Plover, little ringed
Quail, common
Redstart, black
Redwing
Rosefinch, scarlet
Ruff
Sandpiper, green
Sandpiper, purple
Sandpiper, wood
Scaup
Scoter, common
Scoter, velvet
Serin
Shorelark
Shrike, red-backed
Spoonbill
Stilt, black-winged
Stint, Temminck's
Stone-curlew
Swan, Bewick's
Swan, whooper
Tern, black
Tern, little
Tern, roseate
Tit, bearded
Tit, crested
Treecreeper, short-toed
Warbler, Cetti's
Warbler, Dartford
Warbler, marsh
Warbler, Savi's
Whimbrel
Woodlark
Wryneck
Schedule 1 - Part II

Birds afforded special protection during the close season which is 1 February to 31 August (21 February to 31 August below high water mark) but which may be killed or taken outside this period.
Goldeneye
Pintail
Greylag goose (in Outer Hebrides, Caithness, Sutherland and Wester Ross only)
Either fortunately or unfortunately you/we are probably more likely to see all of the above mentioned birds than a police officer!
 
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