Wednesday, 10 September 2008
On this day - 10th September 1993
On this day 15 years ago I joined John Hackett in an after-work dash to Blithfield Reservoir. We got there with a couple of hours of proper light left, although it was dull and drizzly so not the most inspiring conditions. Before long though, we'd both managed tantalising glimpses of our target bird. I was laden with a recently acquired scope and tripod and decided that chasing this bird around the canopy was a waste of time, so I stayed put on one side of the with a couple of like-minded souls whilst John continued to wander after the bird. After a few minutes - there it was. My first scope-full of a rarity, and a good one at that considering we were miles inland in Staffordshire - a superb Arctic Warbler. I seem to remember that 1993 turned out to be a relatively good year for this species but one in Staffs was unprecedented (not sure if there have been any inland records since?). Off of the top of my head I've seen at least one other Arctic since (St Agnes '96), and plenty of other rare warblers, but this individual will stick in the mind for a few more years to come.