You forget your binoculars.
You never seem to go hawkwatching at the right time.
You sprain your foot just when spring migration fully kicks in.
The bird turns out to be a decoy.
Bothersome insects. Especially: Gnats haunt your face and ears in spite of bug spray.
Walking on a path, you do not notice a bird foraging near the path until you reach within a foot of it, and so it silently flies into the vegetation to hide away from you forever.
Every American Redstart sounds like nothing.
You excitedly observe a lifer raptor. It takes off to stoop a prey, a hateful invasive songbird, but when it returns to its perch, you realize it has in its talons one of your favorite native songbird.
A worthlessly argumentative someone who clearly knows less about birding than you attempts to assert that their ID is correct in spite of your overwhelming evidence that your ID is, in truth, correct.
You are the only birder at your work.
A birder who does not take into consideration the birds’ welfare. Example: A birder who overtaxes playback.
A birder overtaxes playback so you explain why such action is detrimental, yet the birder contentiously defends themselves.
You repeatedly miss warbler fallouts.
You repeatedly miss general migration fallouts.
Crumbs from your snack or drops from your drink fall into the crevices of your binoculars.
After certain novices recognize you for your expertise and obtain your email, they persistently send you absurd ID requests with photos or videos of questionable quality.
An obvious non-birder approaches: “See anything good?”
Alexandra: A novice birder comes up to you and asks what you’re looking at. You take your eyes off the bird to offer directions, and you lose the bird in the meantime.