There has always been controversy regarding the the ethics of bird photographers who often go to any lengths to get "the money shot" regardless of the welfare of the bird. I only ever experienced this once when I lived in the U.K. - it was a Penduline Tit at Dungeness RSPB many years ago (at the time quite a rarity) and although I had seen the bird there several times during the week (this was my favourite birding locality) when I took some friends to see it on the Saturday I was amazed at the crowds present. More cameras and long lenses than bins or 'scopes, and some absolute tossers with tape recorders wading out into the reed-bed trying to call the bird out. They did, and there followed a stampede of photographers all trying to get the best shot. Of course, the bird was not seen again (and, at the time, I was very surprised that the staff there had not intervened to prevent this - in fact, there were some of the reserve staff actually watching this debacle in a mood which I interpreted as them condoning the actions).
We have had a Spotted Crake at Lagoa dos Salgados since the 4th October which has showed very well and many people have travelled to see the bird. I have already posted a photo on this forum. Last Tuesday I took a friend (who is a bird artist) to see the bird, and it was in the open long enough for him to make some excellent field sketches. I also managed to get some even better shots than on my previous visits since the bird was becoming quite accustomed to human presence (at 20 meters or so):
This morning the bird had disappeared; yesterday afternoon and this morning the site was visited by a number of photographers who have walked out onto the mud (their footprints are everywhere) in attempts to get closer and closer shots of this beautiful bird. They have "killed the golden goose (crake)". Lots of people have, and many more would have, enjoyed the fabulous views of this elusive bird but now the selfish photographers have f****d it up for everyone.
It really leaves me very split as whether to publicise the presence of a bird like this so those who wish to enjoy it can, or suppress the information (and not publish my own photos) until the bird has "naturally" moved on.
Very disappointed in the selfish actions of many people.