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2019 Herts Little Bittern string (13/1/20)

December 21, 2019

Updated 13/1/20. On 14/11/19 a Little Bittern was found at 11:15 at the public Amwell viewpoint and stayed there for most of that afternoon with 6 RBA updates. George did not see it on the 14th because he was elsewhere as stated on Facebook i.e.

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On the 15th George put out a Little Bittern photo on Twitter with a caption that included the location and “Herts 14 – 15 November 2019” and stated that it was in “an area with no access as yesterday”

George has a habit of taking other birders’ photos and then adding his caption onto it without giving any recognition to the owner of the original photo (e.g. Tengmalm’s Owl) so one would assume the captioned photo was taken by him!!

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Then on the 16th George was challenged on who had taken the original photo. He then admitted that the original photo was by Stuart Fox and stated “the location of the bird is on private property – not accessible”.

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George put the following onto the Herts Bird Club website and @Hertsbirds on the 15th: “Fri 15 Nov 2019 Amwell NR – Great Hardmead Lake, 1 Little Bittern, the first-winter still present in reed vegetation on the banks of River Lea just south of the weir but then flushed and flew to westernmost of two carp fishing pits opposite (no public rights of way) (Lee Evans)”

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The following was on his Bubo Herts year list:

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A local birder said “I am surprised he managed to get to the weir. Also odd that he says about the 2 carp pits as you cannot actually see them and certainly can’t see that there are 2 pits as they are hidden by trees.” “The post says it was below a weir, which is a slightly different place, though only by 250 metres. Also said there were 2 leucistic Ringed Teal, which I think must be rubbish”. 

Two local birders have said there was no access on the 15th to a private site. All the locals don’t think George saw this bird!!

Also John Marchant sent a message on the 15th to George stating “I think you were the only person to see it today, Lee! I stayed till dusk”. George’s response was that the bird “won’t move unless you walk past it”. To our knowledge NO one other than George claimed to see this bird on the 15th!!

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Murray was not too impressed with George’s response so Murray stated “Quelle surprise!”. If the bird “won’t move unless you walk past it” how come George has no photos of his own.

George stated “Did you go down to where it was? It will still be there. Won’t move unless you walk past it” How could John walk to where it was because George had said on Twitter that he saw it “south of the weir but then flushed and flew to westernmost of the two carp pits opposite (no public rights of way)”.

If George did see this bird why did he not tell other birders at the public Amwell viewpoint where it was. Note the “no general access” RBA message was at 0946:

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