Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Access All Areas

It would seem that the prerequisite to access any piece of land that you like is either by having a dog or holding a large lens with camera attached!

Yesterday morning Ian and I watched a bird photographer exercise the most appalling field craft as he pursued his quarry, a Short-eared Owl. We were watching the Short-eared Owls from the footpath alongside the road overlooking the site and were having stonking views, but this clown wasn't satisfied with this.

Having a large lens he obviously knew that he was allowed to go wherever he pleased so he was entitled to push through a hole in the fence and then trespass on to the site to get his all important 'shots'! What was sad was that this same guy was photographing the Short-eared Owls the day before and we even commented on the fact that he was sticking to the footpath and what a change it was to see somebody behaving responsibly.

What happened yesterday I don't know, he probably suddenly realised he had the 'universal pass' of a large lens! After committing his act of trespass he then jumped over a ditch and was running across the fields chasing the 'Shorties' wherever they went! He then obviously thought that running up to them and flushing them wasn't working and thought it better to hide behind a hedge until one came along. He didn't stay there long and was soon back on the chase!

What thoroughly p*sses me off about this type of behaviour is that there is no consideration for the bird. It was a cold day with a hard frost and these birds were actively trying to feed. Maybe this clown thought they were putting on a display just for him! What consumes some of these characters is their lust for the perfect shot and this is also their motivation. I take pictures of birds, but my motivation is a love of the birds and the awe that I hold them in. For these clowns the motivation is the perfect shot and there is no respect for the bird.

I must hasten to add that I don't think all bird photographers are like this as a good number that I know are very respectful of the bird and demonstrate good field craft. Anyway we know who this clown is and will be keeping an eye on him!


Mallimak said...

There's always some idiot to give the rest of us a bad name.

Huw Roberts said...

Maybe there's a link between longer lenses and being shorter on common sense? This lack of respect for private land and the birds welfare puts all decent birders at risk of being tarred with the "you're all the same, anything to see a bird close up" brush. A good photographer knows it takes time and patience to get a good shot.

The Hairy Birder said...

Thanks Dave and Huw, you're absolutely right.