Truly, there are few more constructive ways to spend your Monday morning than firing up the computer, leaning back with a hot, hopefully caffeinated beverage, and watching the weekend birding reports roll in. Gloating about your own best bird of the weekend obviously adds to the fun, especially if you managed to cast eyes on a crippler or can share a gob-smacking photo. But why does birding always have to be about appreciating birds? This relentless positivity will do us all in, mark my words. Better to be bitter once in a while!
So let’s try something new today: What was your WORST bird of the weekend? Tell us in the comments section about the dullest, ugliest, or least interesting bird you observed. If you’ve blogged about your weekend experience (though I don’t know why you would) include a link in your comment.
Allow me to kick off the festivities. I don’t know the species of my worst bird of the weekend, nor did I see it. Instead, I heard a really interesting song, one that had me conjuring early parulas or even more exotic migrants in my front yard. Rushing toward the window, I noticed the radio was on, tuned to a program recorded in a setting far more bird-rich than my own. Don’t you hate when that happens?
Clearly the worst bird would be one I didn’t see, since one I saw would be a good bird. Clearly this opens up a lot of options, as there were quite a lot of birds I didn’t see this weekend. Take, for example, the West African nation of Benin. Wikipedia lists 592 species in this long thin streak of a country, and I didn’t see any of them. Indeed, there are whole families of birds that didn’t grace me with their parents. I saw no parasite laden swifts migrating, no parasitic antbirds following ants, not even a single pestilent Red-billed Quelea, and they are the most numerous bird in the whole world! So clearly the task of deciding which of this miserable feathered rats is the worst bastard of them all is quite the task. It feels arbitrary, but I’m going to nominate the Black Bee-eater that used to sometimes feed in the dead tree over my house when I lived in the rainforest in Uganda. I quite liked him or her at the time, but after six years of not seeing it my patience has worn thin. So f**k that stupid bird, it’s the worst one of this weekend.
Of course, i don’t know how long they live, so it may be dead by now.
Serves the little bastard right.
I’m nominating the juvie grey heron trying to empty my fishpond. Ugly looking and eating my fish!
Mine would have to be the 3/4s of an Abyssinian White-eye that had been picked up by a young boy near the house of friends. It had clearly had a narrow escape from something that took several wing feathers away with it and wasn’t flying properly, poor thing, so easy to catch when it dived in a stream (first record of aquatic behaviour in Ab White-eye though). We took it from the boy and put it in a bush where after drying off it might recover some powers of flight before said predator returns for it’s meal. Strangely, I didn’t blog about it. But we also saw the first Common Swifts of the season, and I did blog about them !
Duncan nailed it.
My worst bird of the weekend was the flock of 34 Slender-billed Curlews that failed to show up in my front yard possibly because there aren’t any flocks of Slender-billed Curlews, or even single Slender-billed Curlews, left on this planet.
Apart from that, my usual bad bird is the invasive Rose-ringed Parakeet around Heidelberg. Good-looking, nice to see, exciting behaviour – but an ALIEN intrusion! That’s worse than bad, ey?
Mine were the Manx Shearwaters, Audubon’s Shearwater, and Bridled Tern all reported in New York State this weekend that I did not see because I was not birding. Also, the two (!) Ross’s Gulls reported into eBird upstate that were obviously a case of hilariously mistaken identity.
@Corey: you weren’t birding? So you’ve died? Birders ALWAYS bird!
I’ve only come back from the dead to participate in this comment thread.
Good to have you here, dude!
Only managing to find 23 Carolina Chickadees on a 2 mile walk. Somehow missing towhees and mockingbirds….
The manky Mallard on the mudflat near the pier at Montrose Point in Chicago. It looked like it’d just been through a car wash — feathers splayed in every direction. And it was doing the stand-on-one-foot thing. (Why do aquatic birds do that?) As I was taking one last look before moving on, it took a slow milky leak. Eeeew.
Yesterday, I found out that friends had seen the same bird later that night and it appeared to have serious issues going on with its tail and rump. Bad enough that they called the bird rescue folks, who hopefully were able to tend to the poor thing. But even this gross and sad bird doesn’t dim my enthusiasm for my best bird of the weekend, my first-ever Purple Martins — lifer!
While birding on Barva Volcano, I suppose my worst bird were the Yellow-thighed Finches that warbled (laughed) from the underbrush instead of popping into view for a picture. The Ochraceous Wrens were also pretty bad because they were too hyperactive for photos.
I am surprised nobody blamed the poor Starlings on this one!!!!
My worst bird was a Bald Blue Jay on my street. Not a single feather on his head! Really ugly (although it was kind of interesting!)
Like Mike’s ‘worst bird’ story, mine is also about something that turned to be not-a-bird. The little beastie I noticed busily munching on black oil sunflower seeds in one of our bird feeders on Gabriola Island (in BC, Canada) yesterday was a big-eared baby rat with, apparently, no fear of humans. Or birds. Sigh.
Ha ha, Sharon, I believe you won the thread!!
I birded in the rain & only saw squirrels & Grant worked all weekend, so we are both low achievers as birders at the moment…please send sunshine and birds this way-BUSAN,South Korea!
I assume these ugly cardinals are juveniles and not deathly ill: