Worst Inaturalist Experiences Ever

So a couple of weeks ago, I was walking at the beach doing Inaturalist when a Larus marinus defecated on my hands and my phone. I was by myself laughing hard when I tripped on a large shell and got all of the wet white bird poo on my clothes. I went in the water to clean myself off, and I managed to miss many birds flying over, and then I left. What is your worst Inaturalist experience ever?


Uploading 115 observations at once, filling in all the observation fields for 90% of them, and then have your computer crash. Has happened twice to me :-(

Seeing a species you’ve never observed before and then having it disappear before your very eyes, before you’ve even got a picture. This is the worst thing that can ever happen to a naturalist.


Back when I had an iPhone, every time I’d try and take a picture of something far-off, only to find that the camera was randomly in Live mode…one time it happened with a blue grosbeak and I nearly screamed


My sisters calls me outside saying to hurry, they’ve got something for me. So I run, forgetting my phone, outside with them to find that they found this really cute orbweaver spider. I was not expecting that, because they are terrified of spiders. So I run back to get my phone, and told them to keep an eye on it. I get back to find them sitting on the swing where it had been, and ask in puzzlement where it was. They said it dropped by its web, and the wind blew it towards them, so they ran, (keep in mind this spider is like an 1/8th of an inch, lol) and when they came back, they couldn’t find it. Very disappointing.


A few weeks ago I headed out to an area of Tomales Bay where I’d never been- I got down into an area on the edge of the marsh with some big oaks and was excited to look for snails, when an enormous cloud of mosquitoes appeared and enveloped me. I took off running, but it was too late: I think I counted over 50 bites (through my clothing!) on my arms and legs that itched like mad for a week. Needless to say I bring bug spray now, no matter where I am going!



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That “live” mode is a menace, I hope they discontinue it in future models, or at least make it opt-in only!


That’s hilarious!

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not exactly an iNaturalist experience, but one of my first naturalist experiences was pretty bad. I had just moved into a deeply wooded area and begun to grow an appreciation for nature. I was exploring through the woods behind my house, looking for critters, and I accidentally stepped into a yellow jacket nest. I paused like a deer in headlights for too long, fascinated by the swarm that seemed to tornado out of the hole I’d disturbed. I took off running back to my house, camera in hand, a cloud of wasps chasing me. I reached my driveway and tripped over myself, breaking my fall with my camera (DSLR). wasn’t able to do any photography for the rest of the year :(

in terms of iNaturalist, I’ve spent maybe an hour writing a really long comment and had the page refresh. always sucks.


Lol, yeah…they’re pretty comical. :joy:

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I always try to console myself by saying that it technically counts as a lifer because I have seen it with my own eyes.


Once I was trying to use a shortcut to get to a hiking trail I wanted to explore, but came across two aggressive stray dogs who chased me. One managed to get my leg but fortunately only minor wounds. My guess is that there was something ahead that they were protecting because usually stray dogs in Hong Kong aren’t very aggressive if you leave them alone. But it was quite scary nonetheless.


Ooh! You have made me remember another experience. This one not so funny. I had found this really cool shield bug, with red and blue, and rescued it from the kitty pool it was drowning in. I got up and started walking to get in better light, as this was in the shade under our 5th wheel. I completely forgot about the Guinea Paper wasps that had made a nest there on the ceiling and walked right into it. Then had to run, but was still stung. And for me the worst part was losing the bug I was holding. (Who cares about the bite when you’ve lost a bug, lol.) No pic. :-(


Stiretrus anchorago?

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What’s consoling? Never heard of that. :) You must go through:
Denial. Stare at the place for 30 minutes more until you finally reach the second stage.
Anger. Stomp around the locality for another 30 minutes looking for another specimen.
Bargaining. Plead with the nearby flora to let another one appear.
Depression. Wander in circles pacing and sighing until something else catches your eye, or you find the specimen.
Acceptance. I haven’t learned how to reach this stage.
Regret. Figure out that you’re now late for work.


I was driving home and passed a new garden I just tilled near the road. Six wild turkeys were dusting themselves in the dry dirt and I thought I’d take a little video. I put down the window on the passenger side where my little pup was sitting. The video was going to be cute, showing the back of his head as he watched the turkeys. In my stupidest baby talk voice I kept repeating “Look. There’s turkeys in the garden. See the turkeys? There’s turkeys in the garden.” Later when I looked at the video I discovered I had the camera flipped. It was a full minute of my face babbling about turkeys in the garden. It was actually pretty hilarious.


Polistes exclamans. Auto correct switched Guinea to New Guinea. Idk why, it usually doesn’t.


lol I had to laugh so hard at this one…super funny!


Another of the worst experiences of mine is when I was in the Serengeti, when a huge Polemaetus, an extremely rare eagle species flew over my hotel, but at that time, my camera was not working and I ended up taking a photo of some random guy waving his hand in the sky. I was dying in laughter because it was so funny and I missed this experience.


It’s scary how much I can relate to the steps…

Anyways, my worst experience would probably be with a continuing lesser nighthawk in my area. I go out ever night with the intent of getting a picture however, when I finally see it somehow manages to magically disappear into thin air only to reappear a few seconds later. I have yet to get a picture and keep telling myself its ok, even though I just stand there for hours hopelessly thinking it will land in front of me if I just stand there. :(