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Bucks Photo String (26/4/19)

April 5, 2019

When new information comes in on an existing topic we update the relevant post and put the date of the update in the title (like above). It has been known for sometime that George has rebadged other birders photos and has pretended it’s his photo by putting his title & date on it (e.g. Tengmalm’s Owl). However this post just gives a representative selection of his Buckinghamshire photo string. 

In Feb 2017 a Ferruginous Duck turned up at Marlow, George put up a post saying “looks a lot better in your pix than mine. Probably ok.” A birder responded “Lee – this isn’t a picture of the Marlow bird ?? It’s the female 2010 Burgess Park bird. Do you have pics ?”

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George replied “Where’s Burgess Park? My pix are rubbish of the Spade Oak bird”. George knew perfectly well where Burgess park was because the Burgess Park bird was found by fellow twitcher Richard Bonser and the information was on the RBA pager 3 times e.g.“London FERRUGINOUS DUCK ad.fem Camberwell on lake in Burgess Park”. This is a rare bird for London – only occurring roughly once every 2 years. George’s (the “policeman of British birding”) photo had come directly or indirectly from Dominic Mitchell’s website – i.e. here but access is now restricted. The image had also been avaivable via a Google images search of “Ferruginous Duck”.

Here is George’s response about using Dominic Mitchell’s photo:

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George posted pictures of a Brent Goose for 28/3/14 and pretended it was from a local Bucks site “flood [area] near Denham” and that it had flown off but then returned. News of this scarce migrant was not put out on RBA.

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However it has been proved beyond any doubt that George’s Brent Goose photos are of the 19/3/14 Staines Moor bird because its the scenery/habitat of Staines Moor. Note that George did not bother to put his pretend Brent record into the Bucks bird database!! Here are photos of the Staines Moor bird and here George’s photos.

A Great Grey Shrike was found on 24/10/14 in Amersham a couple of miles from George’s home – see here. We know for certain that George did NOT see this bird. However on the 27th George posted his pictures on his Bucks only blog site of the hedge it was seen on and a number of shots of a Great Grey. The hedge without the bird was indeed near Amersham but the GGS pictures were NOT taken in Bucks – see here.

On 7/7/14 George put a post out on his Bucks only blog with the title “Nightjar still present” with a number of nightjar photos i.e. here. The post stated “Buckinghamshire Bird Club has lifted its veil of secrecy and revealed the presence of this Rare Breeding species in the county. Nightjars have declined dramatically in the last 20 years, with the last stronghold locally in Surrey.” From this you would think that the pictures were of a Bucks nightjar. You would be wrong as they are of a nightjar in Sussex at Ashdown Forest June 2014.

In Dec 2018 there was a RB Merg that stayed in Middx at Denham country park and was briefly seen in Herts Nr Maple Cross NR. George put a photo of the Colne river section in Bucks (no visible birds shown) and a heavily cropped image of the Merg clearly on a lake not a flowing river (as below). He claimed he saw this bird in Bucks on 17/12/18 with another birder. However when that birder was contacted he said he never saw the bird in Bucks with George. No one other than George claimed this bird for Bucks in 2018. The only reliable sighting in Bucks was by another birder on 24/1/19, which prompted George to string it again on 28/1/19.

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On the Bucks goingbirding website and the Yahoo “BucksBirders” email group George put the following Honey Buzzard description for the 28/8/16.

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Then on his twitter account one day later on the 29/8/16 he put the following photo:

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Many Bucks birders thought this was a photo of the Taplow bird as it was on his twitter account one day after the Taplow bird. As the Taplow bird was seen “gliding slowly along for most of the time, at pretty low level” you would thought George would have got a great photo. By placing this record on the sightings page of this website the Bucks rarities committee would have contacted him to provide further details e.g. photo with EXIF data. However this photo is NOT the Taplow Lakes bird as the same photo was on his twitter on the 2nd Aug!! i.e. 

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So we assume George did not get a photo of the Taplow bird. The Bucks 2016 bird report stated for Honey Buzzard “no completely acceptable records were received this year”. We can only presume George detailed description was not believed.

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Its not just birds that he pretends to see in Bucks. On the closed Facebook Chesham Wildlife group George put pictures of an otter on 12/2/19 some of which are below. He did not say where the pictures were taken so George got a number of comments e.g. “Please tell me this is localish”, “Was this in Chesham?”, “Where was this?”. Unsurprising George never replied to these comments but we know these photos were not taken in Bucks but at Santon Downham.

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The following was taken from the bubo website from George’s 2019 year list:

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