WhatsApp Bird News Group Guidelines
In order for the LROS Bird News WhatsApp group to run smoothly, we need to have a few guidelines. Please read them carefully. As everyone will be sending out their own news, everyone has to take responsibility for that news, and the potential consequences of sharing it widely, including e.g. disturbance to the bird (which may also have legal implications), nuisance to landowners etc.
The group is ONLY to be used for sharing local bird news. This means no
general birding chat or banter. DON’T
reply to group messages unless
it is absolutely necessary to clarify something, or add extra information*.
This means NOT saying 'thanks' when someone posts something.
Please remember that every message you send goes out to everyone
in the group, not just the person who posted it, and with nearly 100 members
already, this could easily get out of hand. If you think there is a problem
with a particular member or message, please contact one of the group admins
privately rather than replying publicly on the group.
2. If you find a bird on the list of ‘newsworthy’ species (below), send a message to the group immediately, or as soon as possible if you don’t have a good enough phone signal at the time. Include as much detail as you think necessary to enable others to find the bird if they choose to go and look for it. Updates on rarities – use common sense, e.g. several updates on a major county rarity may be appropriate on its first day or two until most people have seen it, but then perhaps just once or twice a day thereafter.
3. If you hear about a bird on the list that someone else has found, and it hasn’t already been mentioned, send a message to the group, but please include the observer’s name if it wasn’t you that saw it.
4. Stick to the species on the list below. The group is intended to alert local birders to county and national rarities, and not overwhelm users with too many notifications. This list will be flexible, and species may be added or removed as necessary.
Most importantly of all: Consider the welfare of the
bird at all times. Do not send out news of rare breeding
birds in suitable breeding habitat during the breeding season. And think
very carefully about potential disturbance at other times of year, e.g.
Long-eared Owl roosts.
Anyone not sticking to these guidelines will be given a reminder via private message or email, then removed from the group if there are further problems.
In some circumstances species not on this list may be of interest, e.g. the recent out-of-season Curlew Sandpiper at Rutland Water/Eyebrook in a year when there had been very few. Use some common sense. Think 'would people go out of their way to come and see this bird?' If the answer's yes, then it's newsworthy. If it's 'probably not, but they'd look at it if they were here already', then it probably isn't.
Rare/scarce subspecies, e.g. Siberian Chiffchaff, Blue-headed & Grey-headed Wagtails etc.
any species that would be new to the County!