All was well in Brampton Saturday afternoon. The sun was shining, the temperature favourable and a vagrant Phainopepla was observed by many excited birders, including Jean and I.
The quiet residential neighbourhood has been very accommodating to the visiting birders. The resident that first spotted bird even set up a stand with free coffee and cookies. It has been suggested that an OFO certificate be offered for putting up with the visiting birders. I could not agree more with this suggestion.
When the Phainopepla was first reported, all were informed to respect the privacy and property of the residents. Sunday evening I was in utter disbelief upon discovering one ignorant birder disregarded the request. I believe the sequence of events described on the Ontbirds report occurred shortly after Jean and I left the neighbourhood.
We last observed the Phainopepla disappear into a Yew, in the front yard of a home. Apparently there it lingered because the ignorant birder trespassed onto the front yard and shook the bush to flush the bird. Both the homeowner and a neighbour witnessed this inappropriate behaviour. Obviously, they were not pleased. Birders that observed the unbelievable act were shocked. What was this guy thinking? Is he not aware of the OFO Code of Ethics or does he lack any regard for his surroundings? This birder had previously trespassed on another property without permission.
Let's hope the ignorant birder has read the posting on Ontbirds and realizes he made a huge mistake. Not only did he trespass, he also jeopardized the safety of the rare visitor. The Phainopepla could have been startled and in a panic, flown into a window, resulting in grave consequences.
In order for Ontario birders to continue to observe reported birds (as well post their observations without apprehension) in residential neighbourhoods or any where else for that matter, I believe an apology to the homeowner is required as well as a written apology on Ontbirds (with the permission of the coordinator of course). It would be the right thing to do.