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Peter Connan

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I hope I am not over-reacting, nor is the intention to step on any toes.


This game has been going for very nearly a decade now, and for those who have been at it for a few years, it can get quite boring. On the other hand, the standards are now so high, it will be very difficult to compete seriously. But I think we have only had a formal prize once, so the requirement for strict rules and moderation is low.


Lastly, it is not my place to make the rules. ST is perhaps the best example in the world of a "benevolent autocracy". And I'm not the autocrat in charge. So these are just thoughts and probably open to debate, but in the end the decision is not mine, so your thoughts would be appreciated.


Here are my thoughts:

1) Evidence of a sighting must be provided. Currently that needs to be in the form of at least one photo. I would like to expand that to include either video or sound clips on an entirely voluntary basis. But if a sound clip is used, the time stamp would have to be reasonably close to the photo, or if a video is used, the bird on screen should be the bird being claimed?


2) At least one of the photos presented should be from the year in question and should be of sufficient quality to allow identification (when considered with location and distribution in mind) by an expert. While excellent photos are welcomed, EBC's are good enough (assuming they are, as defined above).


3) Any form of numbering system (or multiple systems) is/are welcome, but to be eligible for any official prize (should such a prize be in the offing at all), a numerical sequential system without gaps should be employed. Informal sub-competition between members is fine.


4) Birds presented for score should be "wild" birds. IE not domesticated or "caged" birds, should be a "recognised" species (in other words they have a scientific name) and should not be escapees (in other words there needs to be a viable population in the area, or a migratory species (but it could be a vagrant).


5) Since a precedent has long been set, birds can be recently deceased, as long as the death was "natural". IE no birds killed on a poisoned bait, shot from the sky, fried in overhead electric lines or driven over etc. 

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No one could accuse you of stepping on any toes, Peter. I think you are quite right in bringing up these matters. For me ( as for others, having participated for a number of years, I guess ), finding ways to keep things interesting becomes more important over the years. In that respect I welcome creative ideas in the form of special personal challenges and sub-competitions. Food for thought for future years as my main goal is remaining part of this community, seeing bird photos from all over the world and , if possible, even meeting up with some fellow members.

But even these challenges and sub-competitions require at least some basic rules and I don’t think these rules would take anything away from creative enterprises. We can always add all sorts of entertaining deviations from the rules in jest, as long as we do not really count them. That all adds to the fun.

So I do agree with your points. Perhaps personally I would not post and count a photo of a dead bird, but if I find a good one, you never know  ;).

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, Peter, much appreciated.

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Thanks Peter

With regard to dead birds, I was wishfully thinking of (for example) a Martial eagle eating a Guineafowl, or a Jackal catching a Dove in the Kgalagadi (although it's almost unthinkable that one would not be able to get a picture of a Dove on it's own in the Kgalagadi)...

Edited by Peter Connan
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