This involves two famous birders whose names weren’t revealed by the
person telling the story (but I’m pretty sure one of them was David
Sibley). It took place somewhere in Canada, on a guided tour with two
equally experienced and eminent guides. It was spring, but it was
actually snowing, with wind blowing the snow almost parallel to the
ground. But the group was hardy and determined – and they all got
very excited when Guide A called out, “Gyrfalcon!” Every one of the
twenty members of the group stepped to the scope, and every one of
them was delighted to see the Gyrfalcon sitting on a post, just
visible through the blowing snow.
But Guide B was looking more and more perplexed. Finally he left his
own scope and peered through his colleague’s.
“I can’t seem to find your Gyrfalcon.”
Guide A returned to the scope, looked, and then said, “It’s right
there. In the middle of the scope! It’s sitting on the post”.
Guide B looked through the scope again.
“Nope. I can’t find it. Where is it in relation to the Snow Bunting?”
The eminent guide had turned a nearby Snow Bunting into a distant
Gyrfalcon - and every one of the other birders looked at that bunting
and saw that falcon.