Archive for the 'Birding bloopers' Category

Birding bloopers #6

I have been featuring some birding bloopers – or badly misidentified birds – over recent days. This one is from the contributors to the Birding-Aus forum and comes from Eddie in Voss, Norway.

My best blooper (there have been many, but this is the best one) happened many years ago. I was half way up a mountain overlooking a lake when I saw something pink moving in the reeds.

I wasn’t birding at the time so my binoculars were in my car, but it must have been a Flamingo. I dashed back to my car and headed down towards the lake. On getting there the “bird” was still present, but it wasn’t a bird. It was a pink plastic bag that had caught on a broken reed.

From the mountain it looked like a long legged bird with a pink body. The movement was caused by the bag and the reed swaying in the wind.

I don’t know what was more pink – the plastic bag or my face.

Good one, Eddie – and thanks for permission to use your embarrassing moment.
You can check Eddie’s website Birdwatching in Norway by clicking here.

To read more birding bloopers click here.

Birding bloopers #5

I’ve been featuring a number of birding bloopers on this blog. These bloopers are essentially misidentifications of birds and are often quite hilarious and always embarrassing.

Simon contributed this gem to the Birding-Aus forum:

Recently while showing an overseas visitor around my local area I screeched to a halt when I spotted a Black-shouldered Kite perched in a dead tree by the roadside.
We reversed some 100 metres to gain a view of it again, and to my total embarrassment there before us was a white plastic bag caught on the uppermost snag.
Just had to laugh !

Thanks to Simon for permission to use this one.

For more birding bloopers click here.

Birding bloopers #4

Several weeks ago I wrote about other birders and the various birding bloopers that they were brave enough to admit to on-line. Now its my turn – unfortunately.

Yesterday while driving down a road near my home I passed a bright yellow bird-like bundle obviously dead on the road. As I went by I immediately thought of a male Golden Whistler. How sad to see such a beautiful bird become a road kill victim was my immediate reaction. But the colour seemed a little wrong. Perhaps some hapless pet Canary had escaped and wasn’t quick enough.

On my return trip five minutes later I slowed down to have a good look. (It is a very quiet road.) Imagine my horror – and relief – to find that it was only a banana peel.

See also:

Birding bloopers #3

Over the last two days I’ve reported some of the bloopers other birders have reported on BIRDCHAT. Here is yet another one – actually, today you get two for the price of one, both from Kathy:

While in Alaska at a B&B at dusk I was unpacking my car and there was a Great Horned Owl in the tree. Oh boy as I shot off a roll only to discover that it was a fake one.

Another, in the Central Valley in CA during Snow Geese time there was a lone Snow Goose and I was taking a few photographs when a couple of hunters sitting a little way off said that the Snow Geese were behind me. I was photographing a decoy!

Birding bloopers #2

Yesterday I wrote about some of the mistakes I, and others have made trying to identify birds. Sometimes what we think is a bird is something else completely, something like a stone that looks like a bird at first glance. Other birders have similar experiences, I’m happy to report, like Steve admitted on BIRDCHAT:

The one blooper that my (non-birding) family will never let me forget: We were driving on the highway in the suburbs of Minneapolis, when I spotted a large bird perched on a fence post. My initial ID’s of some kind of hawk… no! an owl! … were met with prolonged laughter when we discovered a it was a cat sitting on top of the post. It is hard to travel that road with my family without them snickering, even now, years later. Birders are far more forgetful and forgiving.


Confusing a cat with an owl or hawk?

Even my identification skills are somewhat better than that.

And I know a good optometrist I could recommend to Steve.