Today's ptarmigan story has a downside
- There was 22 willow ptarmigan in our yard the day before yesterday and
17 yesterday. I suspect part of the reason that ptarmigan have been
hanging around our yard for so long is that they can browse and rest
here undisturbed. This is their winter habitat after all, and has been
for ages before this town was built, so the very least we can do is
respect their winter home, and if this yard is their bedroom then, hey,
we'll do our best not to disturb their sleep. Of course not everyone
thinks the same way. Ptarmigan are relatively tame birds. A flock was
resting in our yard during their usual rest period yesterday afternoon
when a photographer came along. At first the person took photographs
from inside the vehicle on the southeast corner. The birds were aware,
but didn't seem overly concerned. Then the photographer got out to seek
closer shots. I realize views on what constitutes ethical birding and
ethical bird photography do vary, but if ptarmigan are running from a
photographer I think it means they're disturbed. They did stick around
for the photo shoot, some keeping watch while the others fed. The
photographer likely got nice close shots as she was standing on our
property for a while, not so far from our bird feeders on the south
side. Maybe she thought she was still in the ditch. Maybe she thought
the tiny transplanted trees and natural flora of our yard that she
trampled through was just ditch scrub. Who knows. It was frustrating to
watch this occur and because the flock was in our yard between us and
the photographer, we decided against going out to introduce ourselves.
We didn't want to disturb the flock further. There was a few ptarmigan
here past noon today by my office window on the east side of the house.
They fed there beneath the willow and settled down for a nap. A short
nap. Alas, there was another photo shoot during this rest period. The
birds, not caring for people outside of a vehicle, vacated the premises.
I hope they find a quieter place to sleep. Clearly the Schmidt yard is
no longer a good place to be.
Harvey & Brenda Schmidt
- I hope the photographer is reading this and will now have the dignity
to come on here and apologize for not only wrecking your yard, but for
spooking the Ptarmigan from their roosting place.
She obviously read your posts here on Saskbirds and took it upon
herself to make the journey to Creighton, unless she already lives
close by ?
I never venture into someone's private property without seeking
I led a team of birders on Saturday for our sector of the Pike Lake
CBC and went to the front door of every property in our circle, to
explain who I was, and to see if it was ok to look around.
I do feel for you, and you were only sharing ( understandably so ) an
exciting sighting of some fantastic birds, but have now paid for your
generosity in sharing with these latest events.
You might have to put a no trespassing sign outside your property
Who knows the birds may yet come back ?
- This too makes me sad. I, like Nick, take tons of pictures. There really is two simple rules.
Don't go where your not invited & if you see something (be it a bird, or any other thing
your are taking pictures of), back the blank off. I know I have knocked on a few doors,
treated the property with respect, had a few cups of coffee and always gained new and
"inside" information that has helped.
With all this said, let me apologize for all the new photographers who have made this
mistake, and are willing to learn. I am sure I did it as a newbie too. Maybe not
intentional, maybe just in excitement.
--- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, "Nick Saunders" <nikovich71@...> wrote:
> I hope the photographer is reading this and will now have the dignity
> to come on here and apologize for not only wrecking your yard, but for
> spooking the Ptarmigan from their roosting place.
> She obviously read your posts here on Saskbirds and took it upon
> herself to make the journey to Creighton, unless she already lives
> close by ?
> I never venture into someone's private property without seeking
> permission first.
> I led a team of birders on Saturday for our sector of the Pike Lake
> CBC and went to the front door of every property in our circle, to
> explain who I was, and to see if it was ok to look around.
> I do feel for you, and you were only sharing ( understandably so ) an
> exciting sighting of some fantastic birds, but have now paid for your
> generosity in sharing with these latest events.
> You might have to put a no trespassing sign outside your property
> Brenda :-(
> Who knows the birds may yet come back ?