Outstupiding one another...

Following PB's and Pete's comments in another thread, I thought it might be interesting to start an outstupiding thread (in the hope that finally I'll get to excel at something related to birding and wildlife more generally).

So, this is my invitation to forum members to share their... mistakes.

(I may have shared this one before, but, here we go...) I once took a sabbatical from the office with the plan of canoeing the length of two European rivers to, finally, arrive at the Atlantic coast. The venture was way too adventurous, as we only set (if I remember correctly) a month aside, and I learned later that two ex-military men had taken the same trip, but it had taken them far longer.

Anyway, we sometimes travelled through Wild Boar territory and were very keen to spot one. This was many years ago before I'd ever seen a boar and before, thanks to time spent in Tuscany, I became quite familiar with them having seen them very close up on many occasions.

On one particularly isolated and shallow stretch of the river, we rounded a bend and spotted, ahead of us, a tell-tale silhouette in the middle of the stream. We upped paddles and I steered a straight course toward it, barely breathing. This, it seemed, was the long-awaited moment.

It was then that we spotted the road. And the car park. And the parked car. And when it, in turn, spotted us, it became immediately clear that our Wild Board was, indeed, a chocolate Labrador, out for a walk.

Now that should take some beating...

Best regards -


  • On a similar theme, I spent ages & took numerous photos of a bird floating on the Gironde which later turned out to be a plastic bird which had been washed from a hunters lake by the high tides or flooding. It was bobbing along very realistically. In fact we've been caught out a few times by the plastic ducks, geese & lapwings around their lakes! LOL

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • On the same theme again ...................  only the other day I wondered what was hiding behind this log ;   bird like a Wryneck,  turtle,  snake  ?   !!..................   

    took a closer look and I still think it looks like a snake   - despite the high probability it is a leaf   !


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Leaf Snake Hazel. Notorious.

    When the worst of the winter is finished over here and it's possible, once more, to get out for a stroll, it takes me several weeks to get used to all the---unobserved for months---giant raptors, owls, and herons perched up in the forest. Which are, of course, just bits of wood---winter storm damage.

    Poo often does it for us too. We were once thrilled to have sighted our sought after (that day) Houbara bustard, situated about 150m from the car. But, it was poo instead.

    I'd just reached for the ignition key when Mrs. Dave said 'Wait!'. And there was a Houbara bustard pretty much right under our noses.

    Leaves and poo, eh? The joys of observing wildlife...

  • In autumn, there is often one leaf (or clump of leaves) that stays on a tree & looks just like a bird perched. We have regular places for spotting the leaf-bird.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • Love this thread 'cos I can join in ... many artefacts embedded in chalk quarry walls to trick the eye ... exposed pieces of flint strongly resembling Gulls (which never land here btw) & bits of embedded scrub which I could swear are perched Kestrels!! Lol


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to Noisette:

    Your leaf-bird's probably related to our leaf-kites Hazel, and leaf-gosses, of course.
  • Well, whilst we were in Scotland at the start of last summer, we had our 1st encounter with an eagle

    Unfortunately, on closer examination, it turned out to be a "tourist" eagle, AKA buzzard! We did see one later in the week thought, verified by the guy driving the boat :o)

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    Bet those 'tourist eagles' can do that fat-wing thing at will.

    Later, over a few voles at the local: 'How we laughed...'
  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Especially as I'd pulled over on one of Kingairloch's famously wide (single track) lanes, on the precipice side, leapt out of the car like a gazelle (hippo), slipped grabbing the camera off the back seat, and knackered my knee up in my haste!!

    Kingairloch main highway at rush hour!

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    Very much the view in the North Wales of my youth, PB.

    Bet you're glad that no-one knows about that particular story.

    Oh. (I thought this thread was a reasonable idea, but...)