Birding bloopers #1
As in all human pursuits, mistakes are made. Even by seemingly experienced people. And birders are no exception to this rule. I’ve lost count of the number of stones, rocks, sticks, protruding parts of branches and a range of other things that, at first glance, had to be something special, an unusual bird, the species I’d been looking for all day or just a good sighting.
Then training the binoculars on said “bird” one discovers its true identity. It is quite a letdown feeling one gets, and if another person is with you, it can be downright embarrassing, like Mark did in this account from BIRDCHAT:
Years ago I was birding with a friend on Salthouse Heath, Norfolk. Our targets included nightingale and nightjar. In the falling dusk, everything reduced to silhouettes we were surprised to find a Ring-necked Pheasant roosting in a bush top, its tail cocked as if in alarm, but as we approached it didn’t flush – just sat there. Closer and closer we walked until we finally realised our mistake – it was a saucepan (long-handled cooking pot) someone must have flung out of a passing car, that had landed handle uppermost. And when we did finally track down the churring nightjar and came closer and closer to it, what did we find but a birder playing a tape-recording. Double blooped!