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Old Saturday 13th May 2017, 10:07   #1
KenM
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What's been your "Best ever find" under "challenging" conditions?

April 26th early 70's, found me trudging round the KGV reservoirs N.E. London, during a particularly heavy downpour, having been enticed out earlier by bright clear conditions, which lasted until I was at the furthest point from shelter "the car"..circa 2.5 miles away. When the heavens opened, prompting me to "leg-it" in Wellington boots, anorak with scope/tripod and bins swinging around respective shoulders, and "afeared" to look at the exit fence (c1.5 miles away) just thinking head down and go for it. At the half way point my lungs were on fire (I was a fit boy then!) and I was saturated, such was the precipitation I thought I should have brought my "snorkel"...when I looked up! and saw a blurred shape descending out of the morass, it was circling as it came down, "what the hell's that?" I cried! Swiftly taking out my non-waterproof bins (got soaked in seconds)...Christ I exclaimed!...an adult Arctic Skua eyeballing me from just 20 metres. In that brief moment the acute dampness just evaporated, as I savoured the spectacle, before it soared back up, and disappeared into the gloom...ne'r to be seen again. (quite rare in Spring within the LNHS recording area).

What's yours.....?

Last edited by KenM : Saturday 13th May 2017 at 10:39. Reason: edit
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Old Saturday 13th May 2017, 14:01   #2
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Himalayan Snowcock after a ridiculously vertical hike in Manang, Nepal, worth it though!


A

Last edited by andyadcock : Saturday 13th May 2017 at 16:48.
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Old Saturday 13th May 2017, 15:41   #3
KenM
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Himalayan Snowcock after a ridiculously vertical hike in Manang, Nepal, worth ith though!

A
C'mon andy...how about a" hand hold" by "hand hold" account with loose scree, falling boulders and death defying leaps, before finally laying eyes on it's mythical being!
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Old Saturday 13th May 2017, 16:47   #4
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C'mon andy...how about a" hand hold" by "hand hold" account with loose scree, falling boulders and death defying leaps, before finally laying eyes on it's mythical being!
I'm still too knackered to give you a full account Ken and it was seven years ago!

Believe me, I exaggerate not when I say 'vertical'!


A
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Old Saturday 13th May 2017, 17:21   #5
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I'm still too knackered to give you a full account Ken and it was seven years ago!

Believe me, I exaggerate not when I say 'vertical'!

A
I think your account has got the "edge" on Arctic Skua andy.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 00:26   #6
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I was wondering what 'challenging' conditions in parentheses mean. Drunk, traveler's diarrhoea, both legs broken in plaster? Ah, just rain.

So one birder (not me) was birding on a Russian ship in the Arctic. They spent ten days breached on a sandbar because captain was drunk. He himself was once having a puff of weed, when he saw a ghostly white bird screaming horribly. He dismissed it as a hallucination. After a few days the hallucination appeared again when he was sober. It was Ivory Gull.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 08:38   #7
KenM
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I was wondering what 'challenging' conditions in parentheses mean. Drunk, traveler's diarrhoea, both legs broken in plaster? Ah, just rain.

So one birder (not me) was birding on a Russian ship in the Arctic. They spent ten days breached on a sandbar because captain was drunk. He himself was once having a puff of weed, when he saw a ghostly white bird screaming horribly. He dismissed it as a hallucination. After a few days the hallucination appeared again when he was sober. It was Ivory Gull.
Until I saw this post...I had no idea what Ivory Gull sounded like. A quick thumb through Collins yielded a Tern-like "kreeo".....He'd clearly sobered up by then....had he been beached on a sandbar in the Baltic, and submitted it to his local Rarities Committee, he might have found the "acceptance"...somewhat more challenging?.....being high on weed wouldn't have helped his case.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 09:52   #8
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Note to self: do not attempt to bird the Arctic on Russian ships....

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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 13:06   #9
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Probably the closest for me was an impromptu trip to the Rio Grande area at the end of May, camping in Bentsen Rio-Grande State Park. Around 100 degrees each day, and so humid I was basically just continually sweating my life force away.

This was my first trip to the Texas-Mexico Border, so got a ton of lifers

Think we must have all taken 3 showers a day just to help with thermoregulation. Probably pretty lame for most people, given that many people here have probably birded in the tropics and maybe faced similar conditions.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 13:33   #10
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Probably the closest for me was an impromptu trip to the Rio Grande area at the end of May, camping in Bentsen Rio-Grande State Park. Around 100 degrees each day, and so humid I was basically just continually sweating my life force away.

This was my first trip to the Texas-Mexico Border, so got a ton of lifers

Think we must have all taken 3 showers a day just to help with thermoregulation. Probably pretty lame for most people, given that many people here have probably birded in the tropics and maybe faced similar conditions.
I certainly haven't, high humidity and me, don't mix!....I'll stick with the temperate zone..."no sweat" birding.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 13:46   #11
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Note to self: do not attempt to bird the Arctic on Russian ships....

John
We have a friend who's a notorious drunk, scary to think that he was once a Soviet Submarine Commander!

He lives on Sakhalin Island and we hope to visit for some birding in the near future, that should be challenging. If he's to be believed, there's a Grizzly around every corner, they take stuff from his bin!

One of my worst ever birding experiences was the three days I spent, curled up vommiting on the deck of the MV Chalice during a pelagic as it rolled around in the SW approaches.

A

Last edited by andyadcock : Sunday 14th May 2017 at 13:49.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 13:58   #12
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Around 100 degrees each day, and so humid I was basically just continually sweating my life force away.
(...) Probably pretty lame for most people, given that many people here have probably birded in the tropics and maybe faced similar conditions.
Most birding in the tropics is much easier. I drank 7 litres of water while birding Santa Ana NWR (in TX) in July 1995... which remains unsurpassed.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 14:43   #13
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Most birding in the tropics is much easier. I drank 7 litres of water while birding Santa Ana NWR (in TX) in July 1995... which remains unsurpassed.
Israel in July isn't a good idea, basically too hot to bird after 0900hrs.


A
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 16:39   #14
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Israel in July isn't a good idea, basically too hot to bird after 0900hrs.

A
You must be thick-skinned then andy, cos when I went in April '86, I couldn't realistically bird after 0800hrs. I attempted it at mid-day once when there was a "push" of Black Kites (Eilat), and it wasn't long before I was cowering under a Palm tree of a not inconsiderable maturity.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 16:51   #15
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You must be thick-skinned then andy, cos when I went in April '86, I couldn't realistically bird after 0800hrs. I attempted it at mid-day once when there was a "push" of Black Kites (Eilat), and it wasn't long before I was cowering under a Palm tree of a not inconsiderable maturity.
Spent a lot of time in the tropics so am well accustomed to the heat but Eilat in July was a stupid idea.


A
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Old Monday 15th May 2017, 12:43   #16
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Himalayan Snowcock after a ridiculously vertical hike in Manang, Nepal, worth it though!


A
Got my lifer Himalayan Snowcock in nearly the same spot in nearly the same way! One day back down river and epic hike upwards from the small village Ngawal. Also saw the beautiful little White-browed Tit-warbler on same hike. The cascading glaciers Annapurna II loomed over across the valley.
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Old Monday 15th May 2017, 23:05   #17
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I have to assume that the Himalayan Snowhens....also find the males vertically challenging as well.
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 07:30   #18
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I walked to the top of my road, and saw 7 Waxwings (or was it 8)?

I swear my knees were killing and it made me late for work.

Also jammed in on a fly-by Goldfinch.
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 08:02   #19
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I walked to the top of my road, and saw 7 Waxwings (or was it 8)?

I swear my knees were killing and it made me late for work.

Also jammed in on a fly-by Goldfinch.
Nah!....that doesn't count Nick!....you didn't use crampons, pick axe or rope.
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 09:20   #20
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Hee hee nice one Ken.

I'm mocking my own lack of worth, birding wise. Self depreciation is a good quality.

Some of the stuff on here makes me pretty jealous(:-
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 09:46   #21
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A special one for me was as I was also mainly sheltering from the rain in October 2008 ( although this was not really challenging ) in a little wooden hide at Marloes Mere, Pembrokeshire and a strange looking warbler popped into view, I had a feeling Of a North American warbler but was not too sure...so legged it back to the B & B to get my scope and camera, as initially I was on my way to go sea fishing off the rocks, having photographed the bird and sent my picture into the local bird recorder he came back to me via E- Mail saying this was a female / Immature Blackpoll Warbler !! and if accepted by the Rarities committee would be the first record for Pembrokeshire and Mainland Wales, it was accepted too ! Unfortunately the bird was not found the following day by the locals

This was just one day in October and a very lucky unexpected find

http://pembsbirds.squarespace.com/st...=1391856956123



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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 10:19   #22
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Self depreciation is a good quality.
Agreed Nick, it's a quality that some on here....also find "too much" of a challenge.


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A special one for me was as I was also mainly sheltering from the rain in October 2008 ( although this was not really challenging ) in a little wooden hide at Marloes Mere, Pembrokeshire and a strange looking warbler popped into view, I had a feeling Of a North American warbler but was not too sure...so legged it back to the B & B to get my scope and camera, as initially I was on my way to go sea fishing off the rocks, having photographed the bird and sent my picture into the local bird recorder he came back to me via E- Mail saying this was a female / Immature Blackpoll Warbler !! and if accepted by the Rarities committee would be the first record for Pembrokeshire and Mainland Wales, it was accepted too ! Unfortunately the bird was not found the following day by the locals

This was just one day in October and a very lucky unexpected find

http://pembsbirds.squarespace.com/st...=1391856956123

Mark
Sounds "challengingly stressful" to me Mark!...the concept of finding BW...then legging it back to the B&B to get scope and camera...like will it still be there when I return? ....for me that would certainly qualify.
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 10:27   #23
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in a little wooden hide at Marloes Mere, Pembrokeshire
I've been in that hide.... it was an escape from a thunderous downpour on the way back from seeing Chough at Marloes Sands. Sciatica meant I couldn't run, especially with heavy scope, tripod and bins. I was sodden!

..... does that count?
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 10:42   #24
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I've been in that hide.... it was an escape from a thunderous downpour on the way back from seeing Chough at Marloes Sands. Sciatica meant I couldn't run, especially with heavy scope, tripod and bins. I was sodden!
..... does that count?
Effort employed in a downpour with heavy optics and "sciatica"....gets my vote Delia.
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 10:57   #25
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I've been in that hide.... it was an escape from a thunderous downpour on the way back from seeing Chough at Marloes Sands. Sciatica meant I couldn't run, especially with heavy scope, tripod and bins. I was sodden!

..... does that count?
Thank God for that Hide Delia ! ( Mark Britton Hide )...little else there in the way of shelter

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