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Today's ptarmigan story has a downside

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  • Brenda Schmidt
    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
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 4, 2009
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      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
      Creighton, SK
    • Nick Saunders
      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
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 4, 2009
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        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 ?

        Cheers,

        Nick

        S'toon
      • leftboot13
        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
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 6, 2009
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          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 ?
          >
          > Cheers,
          >
          > Nick
          >
          > S'toon
          >
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