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Most memorable twitch

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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 20:25   #26
Julian Thomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Chapman View Post
Surprised you put that above Blue-winged Warbler Cape Clear on the day that it was found, Crag Martin at Pugneys on a weekend playing catch up or Fea's/Desertas Petrol from the Rosslare to Pembroke ferry thinking of three where I shared your company.

I'm struggling to sort out a short list of ten.

All the best
All of those were absolutely brilliant too - the stuff of legend - and may well fill up most of the remaining spaces if I drew up a Top 5. Sibe Acc on Shetland might well be the other one.

I suppose looking at it in terms of the twitch, rather than the pure awe of seeing the bird, the Blue-winged Warbler might win - 11 of us did that day what no Brit twitcher had done before, and perhaps not since either.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 20:42   #27
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All of those were absolutely brilliant too - the stuff of legend - and may well fill up most of the remaining spaces if I drew up a Top 5. Sibe Acc on Shetland might well be the other one.

I suppose looking at it in terms of the twitch, rather than the pure awe of seeing the bird, the Blue-winged Warbler might win - 11 of us did that day what no Brit twitcher had done before, and perhaps not since either.
What was that Julian?

I saw that bird too.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 20:57   #28
Farnboro John
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Loved the Hoy needle-tailed swift especially watching it go into warp speed when the peregrine went after it.

One or two regrets for birds that I haven’t twitched, yellow-throated vireo being the biggest though.
I haven't really considered yet but I agree the Hoy Needletail was something else as (a) I couldn't keep my bins on it because it was too fast and (b) when the peregrine pulled out of its stoop after the Needletail flicked its wings and out-accelerated the diving falcon there was a hilarious air of "what the **** was that?" about the way the Peregrine hung on the wind in utter disbelief. Fastest bird on the planet? I don't think so!

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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 20:59   #29
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I haven't really considered yet but I agree the Hoy Needletail was something else as (a) I couldn't keep my bins on it because it was too fast and (b) when the peregrine pulled out of its stoop after the Needletail flicked its wings and out-accelerated the diving falcon there was a hilarious air of "what the **** was that?" about the way the Peregrine hung on the wind in utter disbelief. Fastest bird on the planet? I don't think so!

John
Not the one that flew in to the wind turbine John?
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 21:27   #30
Julian Thomas
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What was that Julian?

I saw that bird too.
Successfully twitching Cape Clear from Britain on the bird's first day. Only possible because news of the Blue-winged Warbler broke relatively early (c.9.45am) but it was still nip and tuck. Our crew flew from Birmingham, two other crews from Stansted, then all on same flight Dublin to Cork, hire car to Baltimore for 5.30pm ferry and watching the bird by about 6.20pm. It went to roost at 7. Much drinking in Cotter's ensued.

I'm not aware of anyone managing to do an island off Ireland first day before or since - if anyone has I would love to say congratulations and hear what would be another great tale.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 21:29   #31
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But the real achievement here was that they were all in the same hired fiat Siecento!!!!
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 21:34   #32
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Successfully twitching Cape Clear from Britain on the bird's first day. Only possible because news of the Blue-winged Warbler broke relatively early (c.9.45am) but it was still nip and tuck. Our crew flew from Birmingham, two other crews from Stansted, then all on same flight Dublin to Cork, hire car to Baltimore for 5.30pm ferry and watching the bird by about 6.20pm. It went to roost at 7. Much drinking in Cotter's ensued.

I'm not aware of anyone managing to do an island off Ireland first day before or since - if anyone has I would love to say congratulations and hear what would be another great tale.
A feat indeed.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 21:49   #33
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But the real achievement here was that they were all in the same hired fiat Siecento!!!!
A fiat indeed.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 22:12   #34
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Not the one that flew in to the wind turbine John?
No, Orkney - same time as the Pallas's Rosefinch on North Ron. June 1988?

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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 22:12   #35
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Standing in the `cressa when Mike Rodgers annouced that a Philedelphia Vireo had been found on `Tesco`s (Tresco) `the Birders Supermarket island. Waiting in the dark on the quayside at 05:00, the excitment and the buzz, the landing, the running up to Borough Farm, the waiting, other people ticking Chiffchaff as the Vireo, the ripple of "there it is" " oh not its not ". I left and walked off having not seen it after a few hours, only to walk into the finding of the Corncrake under the Pine tree, the collapsing of the stone wall due to the weight of birders leaning against it, paying 50p x2 to give to the farmer as us Birders had done the damage, walking round and a Rose Breasted Grosbeak was found and showing along with a Richards Pipit near to it. Walking back to Borough Farm and seeing Dave Cotteridge on his own with his camera pointing up into a tree. He put his finger to his lips and pointed up, and not more than 25 feet up was the Philedelphia Vireo sitting there looking at the 2 of us. We had it for about 3 minutes on our own, until we let others know. In the `cressa that night I bought him and Pete Wheeler a beer. Dave Cotteridge sent me the collage photo of the 3 shots free as it was a moment of `Pure Birding `euphoria. I still have that photo in my album of rare birds.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 05:02   #36
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Scilly certainly provided some magic moments- seeing the Northern Parula in the Parsonage, 2 Black & White Warblers in the same week, the chase for Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Then there were the cases of serendipity: on a coach trip to Holme when a Yellow-breasted Bunting was found- good to see it before the hordes arrived. Going to Cley when Pacific Swift came up + the adrenaline was racing. Would it still be there? It was but the sky was full of hirundines + Swifts. My friends got onto it before me + I was getting frantic, but what a euphoric moment as I connected. Similar luck with a Great Snipe in north Norfolk which we saw on an organised flush.

Rarely twitch now as I don't drive + as often as not it's something non-avian such as the Thames Beluga, Queen of Spain Fritillaries in Sussex last year + the Canvey Southern Migrant Hawkers.

My last really exciting bird twitching day was a few years back when I got 3 ticks (sadly one now relegated to sub-species again)- first the wait for Hudsonian Whimbrel at Pagham (my previous lifer had been the Hudsonian Godwit in Somerset) which eventually played ball, then on to Titchfield for the Greater Yellowlegs which showed really well. While we watched this news came out of an Eastern Black-eared Wheatear in the New Forest. Off we went + after ten minutes connected with this beauty- a real cracker of a bird to see in the UK. Showed really well but not seen after this day.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 10:52   #37
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Just to add something to the Philadelphia tale; watching our elders and betters pogoing to the Sex Pistol's 'God Save The Queen' (still with binoculars round their necks?) during that evening's celebrations was most inspiring to our wee group of freshlings.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 11:10   #38
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I've only been an occasional twitcher over the years, a few good rates on the list but nothing shocking. However my most memorable twitch was a local jaunt for Pallas's warbler. Over the years I have dipped so many of these I started to loose count, but it was definitely in double figures. So as I drove up to Holkham to try for yet another I had no expectations of connecting. I parked up and walked in the general direction of the bird and eventually found a small group of birders loitering and scanning the pines. Apparently the flock that he Pallas's was with had passed through a couple of times so it seemed as good a place to try as any.

After a while I was considering ditching the Pallas's and going somewhere else to actually see some birds when a mixed flock of tits and crests came through and someone called the Pallas's. Blind panic set in - "where is it?", "in the pine". Thankfully someone who knew my history with them came to the rescue and helped me get on the bird. After so many dips finally seeing the little beauty was a truly magical moment and it hopped along a branch showing all those stripes. It was made even better by the fact that within a minute of my first view it moved to another branch next to a yellow-browed, the branch below had goldcrest and firecrest side by side. To see these four little gems in one field of view is entirely unforgettable. Haven't managed another Pallas's since!
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 12:35   #39
Gavin Mac
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Yellow Warbler - Loop Head, Co Clare 95. My pal borrowed his brother's Ford Capri with the story that we were just going into Wales from West London. True - but actually to get the overnight ferry to Rosslaire. Dawn at Brownstown Head, Waterford, but no Yellow Warbler ! No problem - the one at Loop Head is still there (knew nothing about it to that point). Convoy of cars then drove across Southern Ireland to score in the evening at Loop Head. We broke down on route in Limerick- fortuitously near a garage. The B&B in Kilbaha was full that night and the Guinness was flowing. We also saw Greater Flamingo on the Shannon Estuary - I've always thought it a good candidate for a wild one.
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 13:48   #40
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Loved the Hoy needle-tailed swift especially watching it go into warp speed when the peregrine went after it.

Tree swallow on St Marys in 1990 was a great twitch too. Carnival atmosphere, meeting up with old mates and having the pleasure of it whizzing between us while conversing.

Philadelphia vireo and golden-winged warbler were both memorable for the fact that on both occasions I was within the first half a dozen to see the bird on that particular day so could relax and enjoy the bird.

Not worthy of a separate thread but favourite dip? Caspian plover on Scilly. Disappointment tempered by again a great atmosphere on Scillonian , seeing chums and having bonus ticks of hoopoe and (non-denominational) subalpine warbler..
Hoy Needletail + Pallas's Rosefinch is also top for me.
Followed by Pallas' Sangrouse+Alpine Acc+Ancient Murrelet in one round trip.
Followed by Scilly to Cape Clear and back again for Sapsucker.
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 15:35   #41
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Radde's Warbler at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton.

My wife had recently broken her ankle on holiday, but I still managed to convince her that the exercise would do her good. We arrived on site and I hurried towards a large bush while she hobbled behind. The news wasn't good.The bird was believed to be skulking in their somewhere but hadn't been seen for 2 hours.

Suddenly, there was movement in the bush, voices were hushed and the tension mounted. Then, to everyone's surprise and annoyance a well-known Sussex birder emerged from the foliage. A furious and mainly one- way exchange of views about fieldcraft ensued. While this kerfuffle was going on, one of the young Sussex lads tried to attract our attention. We turned towards him and there about 20 feet away by the base of a tree was the Radde's Warbler.

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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 16:11   #42
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Radde's Warbler at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton.

My wife had recently broken her ankle on holiday, but I still managed to convince her that the exercise would do her good. We arrived on site and I hurried towards a large bush while she hobbled behind. The news wasn't good.The bird was believed to be skulking in their somewhere but hadn't been seen for 2 hours.

Suddenly, there was movement in the bush, voices were hushed and the tension mounted. Then, to everyone's surprise and annoyance a well-known Sussex birder emerged from the foliage. A furious and mainly one- way exchange of views about fieldcraft ensued. While this kerfuffle was going on, one of the young Sussex lads tried to attract our attention. We turned towards him and there about 20 feet away by the base of a tree was the Radde's Warbler.

Dave W

I saw Hume's Yellow-browed there.
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 16:39   #43
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White-throated Robin on Hartlepool Headland, in June 2011. I was on the last day of a holiday in Suffolk and dashed straight up there, to find several hundred birders all looking frustrated, as it had gone to ground. Last seen in the high walled doctors garden; someone had permission to check the garden, but no sign. A couple of hours later it was confirmed as being in the garden, but there was no access........

Carnage ensued with people desperate to see over the high wall and into the garden. I had the bright idea of climbing up a lampost, which was right next to the wall and I got covered in anti-vandal paint, but I did see the bird. One birder present had arrived in an old clapped out Corsa Van, he parked on the pavement and parallel with the wall. He then allowed birders to climb on his van roof and peer over the wall, which resulted in a seriously damaged roof and cracked windscreen; he also didn’t care and was just glad that people could see the bird, making him a legend

As we left, the local window cleaners turned up and were charging people a fiver to climb up a ladder and view the garden.
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