I have been approached today as I often am with regards to Rare Bird recording with the continued fabrication or misidentification of birds by an individual or individuals. Today, the centre of attention was on the visible migration website, where huge numbers of records are added from a variety of migration sites or watchpoints. One particular observer has been inputting an inordinate number of scarce bird sightings and incredible counts of more common species which clearly distort the overall picture of occurrence. Surely, such misrecording has a serious affect on the actual validity of such websites. Looking at the single observer claims of this one individual, I am of the opinion that it is simply a case of misidentification rather than any purposeful attempt to fabricate any records and that his intentions are in the right place.
How does one deal with such matters diplomatically and without seriously upsetting those that are making the contributions?
I am forever posed with this vexing problem - what with a mixture of purposeful birding inventions and an increasing amount of birdwatcher inexperience.
I would be interested in any opinions on how to deal with an increasing problem