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Rarest bird seen whilst driving....?

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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 16:03   #1
KenM
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Rarest bird seen whilst driving....?

Heading N.East on the A12 Sat.16th May, found me noting a perfectly lit BOP circa 3-400m ahead, at perhaps a 100' up, being pursued by a corvid as it flapped West across the road. Not being able to stop on the busy dual carriageway, I had already confirmed the Harrier shape with grey uppers and white rump from the initial sighting.

At that point I'd defaulted to male Hen Harrier....WOW! I thought, but then, just as I was almost underneath, I noted the dark contrasting bar running parallel to the secondaries on the underwing.

An even bigger WOW followed, a quick check when I returned home revealed 12-16 pairs breeding in the UK?, this got me thinking, certainly the rarest bird that I've recorded on a "non birding" (driving) journey....what's yours?
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 16:19   #2
ClarkWGriswold
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Hen Harrier whilst in Scotland Ken. Weirdest was watching an Emu in WA. So used to seeing these in enclosures. To see one in the wild was a strange experience.

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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 16:31   #3
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I've found Red-footed Falcon & Hoopoe from the car.
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 16:48   #4
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Two lifer ticks were in a car. One was rough legged hawk, I was a passenger so could turn my head. The other just barely missed windshield: lark bunting. I was the driver. I saw several more fly over the gravel road but none that close. When I stopped none reappeared.
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 16:52   #5
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Seen or found?

If the former it would be driving along the beach and up to the Ivory Gull feeding on a (porpoise?) carcass at Black Dog Sands
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 16:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halftwo View Post
I've found Red-footed Falcon & Hoopoe from the car.
Interestingly saw a Red foot yesterday from the car, my first - I had seen a Black Shouldered Kite from the main road two days ago so I went back to scope the area only to find the Red Foot in the same tree! I had already seen a BS Kite when they were a rarer sight a few years ago from the car.

Otherwise I guess the rarest bird would be Bonellis Eagle (c.30 pairs in France).
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 16:55   #7
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Had some good ones over the years.

Driving (as a passenger) near New Ross I picked up a Great White Egret flying along the estuary. Luckily there was a hard shoulder which allowed us to stop and view it.

In 2006 driving between youghal and ballymacoda I was forced to swerve into a layby as an adult Gull Billed Tern flew in front of the windscreen.

Later that same year I had to do similar again at Ballymacrown as a woodchat shrike sat happily on a telephone wire.

Just a couple of years ago, on a birthday surfing weekend in Co. Clare, again as a passenger, I had to scream at my friend driving to stop the car as an alpine swift zoomed over the road. I then had to flag down another friend (also a birder) driving behind us to make sure he got on it.

That one was really bizzare, as we were so busy watching it at first, that when we then went to text out the news (not really knowing exactly where we were), we had to look around to try and figure out landmarks to direct people. It was only then we realized that the livestock in the fields the bird was feeding over were not cows or horses, as we had assumed, but we're in fact llamas.
People must have thought we were drunk when text went out "Alpine swift. Fanore Co. Clare. Over the llamas."

Owen
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 17:02   #8
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Wasn't the first Black Lark for Sweden found by someone driving at the time? There is a Birding World write up. My memory may be playing tricks.

All the best
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 17:22   #9
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Driving from Minneapolis to Milwaukee I saw a pair of Whooping Cranes feeding in a field on the side of I94 south of Eau Claire. This was several years ago when there were only a few dozen in the state.
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 17:42   #10
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Pelting down a dual carriageway in Yorkshire towards a Spectacled Warbler at Filey, I saw a small falcon coming the other way. As we passed it I turned to Mike McCarthy and remarked: "That was a Red-foot wasn't it?" - he confirmed the diagnosis and we rampaged on towards our tick.

We'd had one the previous evening at the Ouse Washes while on our way to connect with a Greater Yellowlegs, but that was signposted by a group of birders all intently binsing it.

Having grilled the Spectacled Warbler and had an incidental Bee-eater in the Arndale Ravine we finally took in good views of a female Red-foot just down the road!

John
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 17:54   #11
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In common with the OP I have also jammed a low flying Monty's from the driving seat, a female over the A41 on my way in to work one morning. In order to clinch the ID I managed to follow it through a housing estate before it got too high. Once it had done so I examined my surroundings and found them to be utterly unfamiliar. Nearly late for work that morning, by the time I'd got my bearings again.

James
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 18:47   #12
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Drove past a male Capercaille in 1990 near Ballater! Still my only sighting of this sp.
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 21:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Pelting down a dual carriageway in Yorkshire towards a Spectacled Warbler at Filey, I saw a small falcon coming the other way. As we passed it I turned to Mike McCarthy and remarked: "That was a Red-foot wasn't it?" - he confirmed the diagnosis and we rampaged on towards our tick.

We'd had one the previous evening at the Ouse Washes while on our way to connect with a Greater Yellowlegs, but that was signposted by a group of birders all intently binsing it.

Having grilled the Spectacled Warbler and had an incidental Bee-eater in the Arndale Ravine we finally took in good views of a female Red-foot just down the road!

John
John

In 1992, everyone saw at least one Red-foot from the car! We didn't bother to stop to confirm one near the Forth Road Bridge - we were looking for Chequered Skipper when the Spectacled Warbler broke.

We did stop and confirm one on a lamp post later in the spring also found from the car near Fakenham.

All the best
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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 21:49   #14
Farnboro John
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John

In 1992, everyone saw at least one Red-foot from the car! We didn't bother to stop to confirm one near the Forth Road Bridge - we were looking for Chequered Skipper when the Spectacled Warbler broke.

We did stop and confirm one on a lamp post later in the spring also found from the car near Fakenham.

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I know - but three in a couple of days?

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Old Wednesday 20th May 2015, 21:52   #15
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I know - but three in a couple of days?

John
Just teasing. But there were loads!

Taking my mind off a six hour round trip to watch a 0-0 draw.

All the best
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Old Thursday 21st May 2015, 09:40   #16
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Interesting thread - until Monday I would have said an Osprey by the side of the A32 having just fished at a Trout Farm.

On Monday just east of the Rownhams Services a Hobby flew over the road (probably not as rare as Osprey I admit) but then a few miles down the road I am fairly sure a female type Golden Oriole flew across - medium sized bird with rounded wings, yellowy greenish, difficult to know what else it could have been (def not Green Woodpecker and also I was not on anything).

Would be a year tick and a Hants lifer (my 250th) but suppose I cannot count that!

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Old Thursday 21st May 2015, 13:42   #17
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Egyptian Vulture in eastern Crete - fortunately I was the passenger as I tried to do an owl impression following the bird as it flew over the car. Scariest was also in Crete, a Griffon Vulture suddenly appearing over the cliff edge on a hairpin bend right in front of us. Methinks it was trying to get us to drive straight over the 300m drop.
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Old Thursday 21st May 2015, 20:03   #18
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Great Bustard out of the window of the bus in Spain was a good tick. 2 Cattle egrets in Wexford both sitting on cows was a nice find - took a second for the penny to drop befroe hitting the brakes!
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Old Thursday 21st May 2015, 20:17   #19
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Driving east on the road from Ourzazate,Morocco a few years ago I saw a large bird of prey perched on top of a telegraph pole.
I drove on a 100 yards or so, stopped the car,then tried to work out what it was.
It turned out to be a Bonelli's Eagle which stayed still long enough to properly identify it.
I have never seen one since and doubt I ever will!
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Old Friday 22nd May 2015, 10:41   #20
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In Finland: Northern Hawk Owl. Otherwise: Griffon Vulture at Andalucia.
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Old Friday 22nd May 2015, 11:12   #21
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My best was having a big lanky pied woodpecker with a large white rump go low in front of the car when driving through the Pyrenees I'd managed to avoid knowing that there were white-backed woodies there.

Otherwise I think the best whilst (and a rather rapid emergency stop) was a Yellow-browed Warbler. It would have been a cattle egret this year, but the bird was gone when I managed to get back to where I'd seen it (and so nagging doubts about a badly seen white Runner Duck remain.
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Old Friday 22nd May 2015, 12:37   #22
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Two Corncrakes wandering along the side of a back road in Bulgaria who strolled into the undergrowth before I could grab my camera and 3 Verreaux's Eagles at a roadkill in Zimbabwe.
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Old Friday 22nd May 2015, 14:07   #23
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Stopping the car to watch a melanistic Montagu's Harrier in Spain, and finding I've parked next to a visible pair of Quail.
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Old Friday 22nd May 2015, 22:24   #24
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Haven't seen many rare birds.... Pileated woodpecker maybe.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2015, 19:31   #25
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Wasn't the first Black Lark for Sweden found by someone driving at the time? There is a Birding World write up. My memory may be playing tricks.

All the best
Just found and re-read the write up. Birding World Vol. 6 No. 5 page 189. A great write up that bore re-reading. He was on his way to work, driving and giving someone a lift yet still picked up the bird in flight, identified it, photographed it and still got him and his passenger to work in time. Quite remarkable.

All the best
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