Birding Bloopers #17

Over the last few weeks I have featured many birding bloopers from birders all over Australia and even some from overseas. These have generally first appeared on the Birding-Aus forum. I have been very amused at the problems some birders have, including myself, in identifying birds. I have also been impressed with the willingness of birders to be embarrassed in public in this way.

Here is #17 in this series, but with a happy ending:

I had a classic with a tour group up in PNG, when I spied a far distant Black Sicklebill (largest of the Birds of Paradise and pretty rare in accessible areas as they get shot for their long tail plumes) atop a snag on a distant ridge, like they usually are.

We scoped the thing for some minutes and everyone was very happy, then as I looked again it took off and turned into a Papuan Mountain Pigeon that had been sitting with two sticks right behind it, exactly like distant Black Sicklebill tail feathers………
Oooer, credibility nose dive and some of the folks were not smiling at losing a megatick. Happily however Orni was looking out for me because not 2 minutes later I scanned a ridge behind us and found a real Black Sicklebill!
Phil Gregory

Thanks Phil for your contribution to this series of articles.

To read more in this series click here.

Question for readers:

When did you experience an embarrassing birding moment? Perhaps it was a mistaken identification. Perhaps you didn’t look carefully enough and were later proved wrong. Maybe the bird itself fooled you in some way.

I invite readers to submit their birding bloopers in the comments section below. If it’s good enough I might just feature it in a post of its own, with a link back to your blog (if you have one).


2 Responses to “Birding Bloopers #17”

  1. Tricia says:

    Ah yes, on a bird spotting walk with a renowned Gould League chap, my duck turned out to be the top of a submerged fence post.

  2. Trevor says:

    I’ve lost count of the hundreds of times I’ve had trouble identifying a bird – only to find out it was a branch, twig, stone or some other non-bird object.

    Duh moments are too frequent.

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