Great hide, shame about the noise...

  • In reply to holdingmoments:

    Hi-

    I kind of like the 'photographers only' hide idea- if you are waiting for a shot you should be quiet while you wait- if you make noise and miss the chance you have no one to blame but yourself. The other hides can hold standard visitors who may need to ask questions etc.

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    Hi-  I noticed the term 'volunteer bouncers'

    at some popular reserves  vols check permits and ask non - permit holders to pay up or leave; It's part of a vols duties  ( certainly was when I was doing it). One reserve I visit has some locked hides that only members can access with their key.

    We had a situation where a guy arrived to see a certain bird - probably had driven 20-100 miles to get there and when asked to pay an entry fee of £2  refused, argued and left without seeing it.

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    Yes I can remember the days back in the 1970's you had to apply to a number of the RSPB's premium reserves such as Minsmere for a permit at least 6 months in advance and not less than that before your visit to the RSPB's headquarters The Lodge and when I visited Minsmere then with my permit I had applied for much later than 6 months in advance there where volunteer wardens in every hide and every time you entered one they asked you to show them your permit. I remember years gone by applying for a permit in advance for Ynys Hir and been so disappointed that all permits had gone for that Sunday of a Weeks holiday in Wales and I then had to apply for a permit for the Wednesday of that week. But if they could do it then with volunteer wardens they can do it now for those hides charging for photographers and allowing members free access.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • In reply to THOMO:

    Photographic hides are more often than not very small. I very much doubt that most hides intended for this use would be able to accomodate a couple of paying photographers, a volunteer, and anyone else who wishes to come into the hide for a while - and no photographer would pay to use a hide if other people could wander in and out at will.

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    seymouraves said:

    Hi-  I noticed the term 'volunteer bouncers'

    at some popular reserves  vols check permits and ask non - permit holders to pay up or leave; It's part of a vols duties  ( certainly was when I was doing it). One reserve I visit has some locked hides that only members can access with their key.

    We had a situation where a guy arrived to see a certain bird - probably had driven 20-100 miles to get there and when asked to pay an entry fee of £2  refused, argued and left without seeing it.

    Yes, and that is fair enough. However, your example sounds like an 'adhoc' event. Much easier to arrange and police, with much lower risk of things getting out of hand. Plenty of 'upside' to it as well re easy fund raising.

    However, what I was responding to was an idea to have round the clock policing of what goes on inside a hide. Unworkable and unrealistic.

    Another concern I have is 'use of volunteers'. Volunteers, as people know, do so for various reasons but ultimately give up their time to help out a good cause. Using their time and goodwill to police who does and doesn't take photographs should not be in their duties in my opinion.

    Where money is involved, there is always a risk of confrontation. Increasing exposure inevitably increases that risk. Why should people who've spent a few quid on membership expect 'volunteers' to give up hours, days and more of their time to implement enforcement related ideas that will inevitably lead to arguments and conflict?

  • In reply to Robbo:

    What a load of infantile rubbish! It does not matter if you talk in a hide; if you want to be on your own and very quiet, go somewhere less populated and more remote! If you wish to lug a huge telescope around and make lists of what you've seen, then fine, but just don't criticise others who are different. If you like to spy the wildlife through binoculars then that's fine to, as is taking pictures. It's called "preference" and everyone has a right to their choice when watching wildlife.

    I prefer to use a decent camera with a big Sigma 150-500 or perhaps a Macro lens, and may also take some landscapes, "picturesque" scenes or what ever catches my eye. On that note, "eyes", my eyesight is quite blurry, so it's nice to take a picture and then see what I've got on a big screen and with reading glasses on; otherwise I might mistake a Cuckoo for a Hobby quite easily!

    What does matter is "attitude" when out and about. I have seen unbelievably selfish idiots with telescopes and/or binoculars deliberately walking in front of someone with a camera who is obviously taking a shot... or trying to. This kind of behaviour is just childish and unacceptable. We are all doing the same thing, appreciating Nature, but in different ways. Learn to live with each other, work WITH each other and not be so ignorant and arrogant and we'll all have a better day out.

    In respect of "Hide Wardens": What is needed is a clear and concise code of conduct posted on the door to a hide:

    "Please enter and leave quietly.

    Consider other users. Space is limited, so please do not hog spaces by spreading equipment over two or more spaces.

    Do not lean out of windows or wave hands/arms out of windows.

    Please close shutters when leaving.

    The hide being here does not indicate that wildlife will be here, if none here then be patient.

    Talking is acceptable, but at reasonable levels. Running commentaries are not necessary when something happens!

    Thank you."

  • In reply to Old Taoist:

    Mike 'Old Taoist' said:

    What a load of infantile rubbish! 

    In respect of "Hide Wardens": What is needed is a clear and concise code of conduct posted on the door to a hide:

    "Please enter and leave quietly.

    Consider other users. Space is limited, so please do not hog spaces by spreading equipment over two or more spaces.

    Do not lean out of windows or wave hands/arms out of windows.

    Please close shutters when leaving.

    The hide being here does not indicate that wildlife will be here, if none here then be patient.

    Talking is acceptable, but at reasonable levels. Running commentaries are not necessary when something happens!

    Thank you."

    Mods - I think this thread needs moving to 'chat' as it seems to be stirring up emotions.

    Old Taoist. Sorry if my posts are bracketed in the 'infantile rubbish' category.

    Regarding your comments, whilst I agree with your list, and your earlier comments about 'preference' and 'unacceptable behaviour', I disagree with leaving notes or 'codes of conduct'. For a start, your example doesn't fit your "concise" requirement. Who is going to stand outside a hide in all weathers reading all that? Also, if a small but significant minority ignore signs as straight forward as, "do not litter", why would those same people read your Code of Conduct and adhere to it whilst still dumping litter?

    There isn't a simple solution, which is presumably why there are quite a lot of postings on the subject, some of which may be deemed as childish or nonsense.

  • In reply to Robbo:

    Hi Robbo. I respect your opinion, but a sign is a good start as nothing else has been tried so far....

  • In reply to Old Taoist:

    Thanks for all your comments so far regarding hide etiquette which is of course a really important subject as we clearly want as many people to enjoy their experiences on our reserves as possible.

    Please keep the discussion on topic and be respectful of everyone on here and their opinions.

    In terms of Lakenheath I know David Rogers (Senior Sites Manager) is a keen birdwatcher, photographer and nature lover and will do all he can to balance the needs of everyone, he is keen to install a photographic screen on the reserve which may help this particular situation and wont be something we see people having to pay for.

    As a wildlife photographer myself (in my free time) and a birder I can completely understand both sides of the story. I tend to do most of my wildlife photography away from hides these days as most of the time they are not geared up for the style I want (getting eye level with a subject, working alone and being quiet etc) but from my experiences of the past both photographers, birders and other more general wildlife watchers can all be as friendly and helpful in hides as they can be annoying and loud, unfortunately that's just people for you, we are all different!

    One idea that I really have loved is the lower section of the Island Mere hide at Minsmere. I made use of this section this year to get water level shots of Bittern, this section is completely free of charge so whilst being a specialist photography hide isn't an exclusive one, anyone can go down there. However, during the 7 hours I was in it only 3 other photographers made use of it whereas the upper section of the hide was probably visited by over 200 different people.

    This meant that I could work in relative peace, I didn't take up any room in the hide above and my camera shutter didn't annoy any of the birdwatchers. What is more, my view was no better or worse than those above me so photographers are not getting a better "view" of the wildlife, if anything my view was worse most of the time because I could rarely see what else was going on out there, but it did mean that when a Bittern walked out of the reeds my photographic view was greatly improved as I was on the same level of the bird, those above me would have had exactly the same excellent view of the bird fishing, booming, walking etc.

    As it stands I don't think premium photography hides are something that are going to be springing up on every reserve. It is down to the site manager and warden of each individual reserve to explore what options they have depending on the site itself and the species on the site. Minsmere for example have thought about photographers and birdwatchers and worked out a way to cater for both their needs with no extra charge and at no risk to the wildlife.

    Of course site managers will always explore ways and means of enhancing the wildlife experience on a site, whether this be a guided walk, a pro wildlife photographer coming in to undertake a photography course or the creation of a photographic hide. The creation of a photographic hide will in no way be at the determent of those wanting to view wildlife, as with Island Mere the aim is to put photographers in the position they need to be in to get the shot that is photographically what they are after and usually this just means getting a bit lower or a tiny bit closer, in no way would it mean everyone else does not get a similar or equal view.

    In terms of payment, I guess the RSPB will always do its best to make any extra "services" free or as cheap as possible. If there is room to charge a bit extra then that is down to the discretion of the site manager/warden, based on understanding if there will be much uptake from those likely to use it.

    Like anything in life, sometimes extra services need funding and payment would reflect that and any extra work that has gone into creating the opportunity but I must reiterate that this is very much "early days" in terms of this. Every reserve clearly spends time thinking about ways of increasing visitors, making the site better for people to see wildlife (as well as making it better FOR the wildlife) and ways of increasing support for us - whether that be making new members, running events/activities that can generate income extra and this photography hide idea is just another way of doing that.

    I hope that helps!

    Kind Regards,

    Ben

  • In reply to THOMO:

    THOMO said:

    Well at Saltholme for example, they have volunteer wardens in every hide, every day and I'm sure they could do the same with those hides to control what happens.

    Ian,you seem very keen on pushing more duties on the unpaid staff at reserves without whom the work of the society would suffer greatly.I am sure they have plenty to do without acting as "hide police"

    I have done my share of various vols jobs on many reserves and am on first name terms with many at Saltholme and Leighton Moss and would be interested to hear their views on this.They probably to busy doing volunteer duties  to get involved in petty squabbles but it could be an interesting topic next time we meet with the Teesmouth  crew

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can