Thursday, 5 November 2009
On this day, 05/11/1993
Sixteen years ago today - how time flies! A very early start saw me and John Hackett heading down to the Swanage area in Dorset. It was only my third twitch, but I was fully aware of the significance of the enigmatic bird we were hoping to see. By 08:00 we were on site at Winspit with a sizeable crowd despite the bird having been found on 30th October. Before long, there it was ..... Red-flanked Bluetail. See here for photos. At the time this was a massive rarity with virtually all of the previous records being in the northern Isles (like one trapped on Fair Isle on 16/09/1993). It was certainly the first widely twitchable bird, and prior to 1993 there had only been 11 records and I believe this was the first year that two were recorded in the same year. Of course in time it turned out to be a forerunner of many more accessible birds in subsequent years, rather than being the superb blocker we thought it would be. In fact I saw another one in Norfolk in 1994. Nevertheless, I can still visualise the scene when my first Bluetail popped into view - absolutely fecking awesome!