Friday, 23 January 2009

The Dangers of Submitting Records

All of this Birse stuff has got me googling and I came up with this Aberdeenshire Council Planning proposal:

Mmmm that's interesting, Scottish Crossbill has been listed as 'notable' Biodiversity in relation to a planning application, which may or may not have been approved - I don't know. Bullfinch as well. Then the penny dropped - are those my records ! ? So I checked my notebooks and there in black and white for 28th November 2004 were Bullfinch and Scottish Crossbill at Finzean ! Now, the Bullfinches were seen in a drive by near to the Manse so fair enough, but the Scotties were actually seen over 2 miles away, though the correct Grid Ref. was given ! So what relevance do they have for this planning application ? None, I would imagine. I do hope the vicar got his new graveyard in the end.

These records must have been obtained from ones I submitted to The Northeast Of Scotland Bird Report. I have been species author for the three Crossbill types we have for the last 3 or 4 Journals but must confess I have not submitted any individual records of crossbills since then, primarily for reasons such as this (which I didn't know about) - basically, your data being used for things, and ways, that you have no control over. Essentially, it becomes 'Public Domain' for any interested party to use as they see fit. Yes, it does kind of make me feel guilty, but one day I will make sure it is all passed on after I have written it all up and done what I have wanted with it. It has, afterall, taken many, many hours of collecting sound samples and observations over these last 5 (!) years. Also, I do summarize my records in the report so at least there is some input ! Most of the locations are supressed as they are vital ringing sites susceptible to human disturbance, as well as being key nesting sites during the breeding season. So, if anyone does think I am a bit off hand or 'covert' regarding these things please bear these factors in mind !

Rest assured though- if it was serious planning proposal that could destroy or compromise habitat and threaten the species I would not stand back.........however, would I even know about it ? This is my problem, and thus the guilt continues.............


Paul said...

I'd noticed that dodgy record before. Surely a mistake inputting data at the record centre, or else someone using a standard grid reference for Finzean.

The brambling record on that map is mine! No mistake there as it was on my bird feeders and my house is on that map.

You'll be pleased to hear that the graveyard is now under construction - the Scottish Crossbill didn't scupper it.

Loxia Fan said...

Nothing dodgy about the record Paul- EcC's clear as a bell !

Looks like the Grid has been put as a 10km square ? I may have used the Finzean grid per NESBR - I don't have the excel sheets on file anymore so can't check.

I reckon I better do some roving records at least this year being a BTO member and ringer.....