Over the years I have found that there are three basic types of birding while on holiday trips: planned, opportunistic and downright unlucky.
When I plan a holiday I will often factor into our itinerary places where I can stop and do some birding. These stops usually coincide with meal breaks, changes of drivers, or overnight stays. I look for places where I have a good chance of seeing a good variety of birds. Sometimes the birds do not cooperate but often I’m rewarded with good sightings and even good photos.
This is far more exciting. You never know what is going to turn up, sometimes in unexpected ways and places. Chance sightings, rare or uncommon species, birds way out of their normal range or birds doing unusual things. Some of my best photos are totally unplanned, making the most of an opportunity presented unexpectedly.
Missed in action
On our short holiday last week on Yorke Peninsula we were almost at our holiday unit. The sun was setting, we had about 8 kilometres to go when my wife exclaimed, “Three quail on the roadside.”
But of course I didn’t see them! Checking the mirror I quickly did a U-turn and head back down the road. They’d gone into the bushes. Drat!
On reflection, the most likely species was Stubble Quail, a common bird in this cereal growing region of the state. Reluctantly I added this sighting to my trip list but felt just a little cheated.