Espy / ih-SPY / transitive verb
To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd.
The seamen espied a rock within half a cable's length of the ship
-- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
They espy no trouble in that.
-- John Lukacs, A Thread of Years
I have come to look at the world's map anew, espying not so much the art galleries or mountain ranges or rivers as places where cherished friends have taken up residence and would, perhaps, enjoy showing an old buddy the ins and outs, the meandering back road rather than the superhighway.
-- Alan Cowell, When a Host Becomes a Guest, New York Times, 29-Dec-02