Re: Birding blooper

To: "Tony Russell" <>, "Bill Stent" <>, "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Re: Birding blooper
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 12:38:23 +1100
This must be a common one Tony.

I do the same thing with Little Raven and sometimes Galah. The
difference is that I usually call out 'hawk' (it's quicker than saying

The reason that I make this mistake is because of the 'just in case'
scenario (a birding term that I've just made up). Hawks, raptors,
goshawks, falcons etc are by definition fast flying. Therefore if you're
travelling in the car at 100km and you're trying to draw someone's
attention to a hawk you have to be really quick. I reckon I get the bird
right 99.9 per cent of the time (quite often with the briefest of a
glimpse out of the corner of the eye - I surprise myself sometimes) and
I've usually realised my mistakes as the word "hawk" is leaving my lips.

Interestingly I've often noticed this type of error occurs a lot with
birders on a pelagics - where time is also of the essence - and it's
usually the best pelagic birders who do it. I think it's an attitudinal
thing. Some birders try and keep their cards close to their chest so
they won't be seen to make a mistake. While others don't seem to mind -
they've judged that the main aim is spot new and unusual birds. On a
pelagic, for instance, mistakes can always be corrected (i.e. is it a
Sooty or a Light-mantled Sooty), but missing the bird altogether can be



-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Tony Russell
Sent: Thursday, 22 February 2007 8:51 AM
To: 'Bill Stent'; 'Birding-aus'
Subject: Re: Birding blooper

Ok, I'll 'fess up too.
I have a blooper which I have been making most of my birding life. When
out on birding trips, driving along in the car, I frequently yell out
"raptor". There's just something I misperceive about a large black
bird's jizz as it glides across the road ahead which causes this error.
I'm a laughing stock amongst my friends. It's nearly always a Little
Raven. For someone with a tally in the mid 700's this seems incredible
but it happens over and over. I don't take any drugs.


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Bill Stent
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:03 AM
To: Birding-aus
Subject: Re: Birding blooper

Confession time, is it?

I was with my family visiting South East Queensland a couple of years
back, and we were on our way to dinner with Sue and Terry Pacey (ooh,
namedropper!).  Passing the MacDonald's at the river crossing just south
of Labrador I noticed something on the roof, perched in amongst a number
of white ibis.  I just had to check it out.  It was raining, but using
my binoculars I could make out a definite owl of some description.  I
dropped Jan and Emma at the caravan park where we were staying and made
my way back on foot.  I carefully crept up to the building, somewhat out
of sight of the customers, and my suspicions were confirmed.  A definite
owl - but with horns!  Sensation!

However, after a short reality check I decided that what I was looking
at was not a first for Australia, and neither was it an exquisitely
carved banana peel, but rather a plastic owl.  What it was doing there
is anyone's guess - if it was put there to keep the ibis away it was
having no effect.

It's probably still there.


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