But this is exactly what happened to Matt Daw (apparently his real name, good job he wasn't called Jack) in New Mexico, USA on July 7th this year. Here is his video of a feeding Least Bittern. It is a nice set up, the Bittern comes down to the waters edge, then freezes. Will Jack capture it taking a fish? And then behind it, out of the reeds, walks a huge, brightly-coloured species never before seen in the United States:
Jack is clearly a more restrained man than I am, for if that was my video soundtrack there would be a voice shrieking out "WHAT WAS THAT?!!" as a new species for the United States strode across my viewfinder.
Needless to say, such a rare bird find ignited a storm of interest, including a visit from Neil Hayward, who according to his blog has flown over 78,000 miles and driven 35,000 miles this year alone as he tries to max out his year list. Neil, I make that nearly 115 air miles for each of the 686 species you've seen this year. Wake up Neil, are you actually enjoying seeing these birds, or have you succumbed to number fever?
Full details of the Wood Rail here: