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eBirding “sensitive” locations; minor miscellanea

10:40 am

First off, some minor miscellanea from the past several days: an adult male American Redstart is back for its second winter on private property in Coronado, a total of 3 Nashville Warblers were in the Mira Mesa/Sorrento area, and a new Summer Tanager and B-t Gray Warbler were in Hillcrest/Middletown.
I would like to make a small, reminding plea to please think twice before posting/eBirding exact locations of rarities on properties that are “sensitive” or otherwise borderline. Certainly don’t do it for private properties unless given permission. But places like residential streets where people are not accustomed to birders, business courtyards, or hotels and campgrounds come to mind as places that could well not tolerate a bunch of binocular and large-camera wielding birders. One current example is a Blackburnian Warbler in a hotel parking lot in Torrey Hills. I have not been specific about the exact location, and if someone then is interested they could contact me offline and we could go over “logistics” so as to minimize disturbance. But then somebody went ahead and put it out on an eBird list with the lat-long down to six decimal places and noted it was a specific hotel. Now, in this particular case, the fact that there is a very cooperative Blackburnian also present at Lake Murray means that probably not too many folks will look for this Torrey Hills bird, but under normal circumstances there would have been a good number. It wouldn’t take many visiting birders who don’t make extra efforts to be low-key to then get some guests upset that they think they are pointing cameras into their room windows, complain to the front desk, and get us all thrown out forever. And while most birders try to behave well, there are enough who are just blindly oblivious to their actions so as to get areas closed off.
–Paul Lehman, San Diego