Olaf Lipor is a well-known Scandinavian naturalist with a wide range of interests and several previous Guest Blogs here, usually at this time of year.
Olaf is not yet found on Twitter.
Statement by Olaf Lipor on behalf of the BBC (British Birding Commission)
The recent public discussion on how to view birds coming to our shores from Europe has generated lots of heated debate. Should we welcome their arrival, guiding them to safe sanctuaries and bird feeding stations, or should we shun them and demand their immediate return to where they came from (even if it takes until autumn for them to finally go)?
Those birds that arrive here by boat have been the focus of much of the discussion, these ‘boat assisted’ birds as they are known, have long been a hot topic, but in the last few weeks the number of headlines they have generated has been overwhelming, so much so that someone called Frank had a discussion about it.
We, at the BBC (British Birding Commission), have always prided ourselves on our impartiality when discussing birding matters. It should be pointed out that our chairperson’s recent involvement in a loan of peanuts to the boss of our funders is still being investigated and we will not be commenting further on this, even though it does raise several questions about that impartiality, in truth we are hoping that an old Fox may cause enough of a fuss for it to be forgotten.
There are many birders that will not lower themselves to look at boat assisted birds, insisting that they don’t deserve to be on a list. But there are others that do look at them (and they will travel many miles to do so) that insist they are put on a list, although it is not clear what part of the list, nor is it clear what name will be used for them unless the Americans have already dictated what name they will allow us to call them.
It is clear that the migration of birds to our shores is not going to stop anytime soon, despite us having taken back control of our bird feeders. There are many questions as to how these migrants are housed, particularly in light of the national birdbox shortage, should they be offered places in nice reserves or should they be directed to old derelict military bases or should they be flown to a totally different continent? The questions are endless.
It is therefore vital that any discussion of it by members of the BBC (British Birding Commission), associated freelance birders and anyone else with binoculars and a social media following, is done so in an impartial manner. We embrace the principals of freedom of speech, so long as it is spoken within the parameters set out by us and agreed by our budget setters.