Sunday, 1 December 2013

Looking Back.............to 1993

With very little to keep the interest going on the patch I thought I’d delve into some of my past birding adventures.


Why 1993? Well, that was the year I started to get the twitching bug. Although my first proper trip for rarities was when I saw my first ever Waxwings in Gillingham on 19th January 1992 and until recent years they remained a very scarce visitor. In 1993 my first real rare was the two Alpine Swifts at Reculver on 25th April.
Alpine Swift at Reculver      photo by Rob Wilson
Alpine Swift at Reculver      photo by Rob Wilson
Alpine Swift at Reculver      photo by Rob Wilson
On the 6th June came my next “twitch” when I saw the Great Reed Warbler in a reed filled dyke along the entrance path to the hides at Elmley on the Isle of Sheppy.
Great Reed Warbler at Elmley   photo by Mike McDonnell
A month later, on the 25th July it was a Marsh Sandpiper on the Radar Pool at Cliffe followed by a Short-toed Treecreeper in the Lighthouse gardens at Dungeness on 19th September. 
Marsh Sandpiper at Cliffe Pools     photo by Mike McDonnell
Short-toed Treecreeper at Dungeness    photo by Mike McDonnell
The next big rarity was a little closer to home, in fact just 6 miles away, at Worth, with an Isabelline Shrike.

Isabelline Shrike at Worth    photo by Mike McDonnell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The show stealer for that year however, was to come on the 5th of November. After a week’s holiday in Cornwall with the then girlfriend I drove the coast roads to Dorset and a visit to the Winspit Valley where Britain’s thirteenth Red-flanked Bluetail was putting on a show. Twenty years later though they are a regular Autumn vagrant with even the odd spring record.
The 13th Red-flanked Bluetail for Britain at Winspit Dorset      photo Mike McDonnell

The 13th Red-flanked Bluetail for Britain at Winspit Dorset      photo Mike McDonnell

3 comments:

  1. Nice one Martyn.(from aAlan ashdown.)

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  2. Interesting.
    Do you think that means there was more around or that you were more prepared to travel to find it. I find I'm too lazy to travel too far so all in all I've had my worse year ever!

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  3. Excellent write up Martyn , great selection of birds you had there .

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