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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

What was your first found rare and how old were you? (1 Viewer)

Rosy Starling in 2018 in Postojna, Slovenia. I probably had come across rare unknowingly visiting other places but may not have spotted on my own. As breakfast was served at a late time of 0800 where I was staying, I was getting up for sunrise in the garden and spending a couple of hours just seeing what was around. on the 5th or 6th day, I was getting bleary eyed and debating on whether it was worth getting up to see the same old shadows of backlit birds. That was when I spotted a flock of what appeared to be Starlings (about 20) but were funny patterned. With grainy photo and looking through a scope, I guessed at Rosy starling and did a search (yay for internet in the garden). So was definitely happy that I did force myself up that morning.

I also realised that I had deleted a weird plumaged starling a few days earlier. Age wise, I would have been 38 (only started bird watching at about 31-32)
Nice birds Kibet….and you managed to image them.👍
 
15th bday in 1987 found a Wilson's Phal on the Ferry Pool at Pagham Harbour. Annoyingly had seen the same bird the previous weekend at Radipole when it was a surprise lifer as we had a planned trip there and turned up to find a load of birders in the carpark 😂
Best 1st for a country was Malaysia's Japanese Thrush in March 2006, found whilst taking a p*ss 👍😂
 
15th bday in 1987 found a Wilson's Phal on the Ferry Pool at Pagham Harbour. Annoyingly had seen the same bird the previous weekend at Radipole when it was a surprise lifer as we had a planned trip there and turned up to find a load of birders in the carpark 😂
Best 1st for a country was Malaysia's Japanese Thrush in March 2006, found whilst taking a p*ss 👍😂
Better to be a flusher than a flasher Ads;), your Wilson’s Phal is the only one I’ve ever seen so a belated “merci“ from me!
 
15th bday in 1987 found a Wilson's Phal on the Ferry Pool at Pagham Harbour. Annoyingly had seen the same bird the previous weekend at Radipole when it was a surprise lifer as we had a planned trip there and turned up to find a load of birders in the carpark 😂
Best 1st for a country was Malaysia's Japanese Thrush in March 2006, found whilst taking a p*ss 👍😂
Is p*sing diagnostic for Japanese Thrush? (I’ve just realised how dodgy this question is! 🤭)!
 
15th bday in 1987 found a Wilson's Phal on the Ferry Pool at Pagham Harbour. Annoyingly had seen the same bird the previous weekend at Radipole when it was a surprise lifer as we had a planned trip there and turned up to find a load of birders in the carpark 😂
Best 1st for a country was Malaysia's Japanese Thrush in March 2006, found whilst taking a p*ss 👍😂

That was my tick Wilson's Phalarope as well!


Many thanks

Paul
 
First noteworthy birds I would have been early 30’s. Broad-billed Hummer in Baja California and a first state record of Spotted Rail in Campeche. A probable Redshank got away from me before I could be sure around the same time, also in S Mexico. Later found a Northern Fulmar in Chile, Cordillera Azul Antbird (very self found, heh), and a significant range expansion for Johnson’s (Lulu’s) Tody-Flycatcher in S Peru. Not much else of note… I’m usually more exploring than looking for birds that are out of range, to be fair.
 
First rarity (at the time) was a Dusky Warbler at 29. Pretty dismal as I had lived near the coast for 11 years by then. I should have decided much earlier that I don't really wanna be social: nowadays I manage at least one (local) rarity a year in inland Germany.

I apparently found the first Least Bittern for Aruba a year later, but as I didn't take notes I never submitted it (I thought it was a regularly occurring bird, but obviously no one watches birds on Aruba)...
 
In the late 1980's/early 1990's a White Stork near Aberfeldy.

Dunno how old I was but nearer retiring than starting school;) So I was very early into my birdwatching journey.... and this was even BBF LOL
 
Started birding relatively seriosuly at 18, before then only birding on and off. Starting finding some pretty good scarce birds from the following year but my first real rarity was Malta's 2nd lesser crested tern at 21. Since then I've also found Malta's 1st (at the time) eastern yellow wagtail and 5th (confirmed) Moltoni's warbler, and co-found the 1st Swinhoe's storm petrel, plus various other more regular but still "submission-level" rarities and I'm still 25...so can't complain.
 
Black Kite, Cley - mid 70's - I was about 8 so they didn't put my name on the submission... I think it was about 10th in the current method of counting... Bizarrely I remember the bird. Imagine at the time I don't think there were even any Buzzards in the 'folks at the time!

Pallas Warbler, Scarborough, which I think my name did get submitted - I have 136th in my head. Definitely remember chasing that up and down the castle hill, hovering, feeding etc - I think I was 12 maybe younger. Found another, when went to see the Booted Warbler, again on the Castle and none since!

Clearly for the two 'early' birds I needed someone to ID the bird.

As for France a Lesser Spotted Eagle, rejected and a Pallid Harrier...
 
Mine was a Short-toed Lark on Scilly 12 October 1986, at Rocky Hill. I was with Barry Wright but saw it slightly before him (talking seconds here). I remember trying to sketch it (I'm no artist) and take notes (at the time my knowledge of bird topography was as sketchy as my sketches) and feeling resentful that it wasn't something easier to describe...

Got my name on it though. Cool.

John
 
Do Hawaii's Nene geese count? I saw those when I was about 18. There are only a couple thousand of them, but they're in a relatively small space, so they aren't exactly difficult to find. Admittedly, it was entirely incidental; we were in a traffic jam on Kauai, and there was a flock of geese at the side of the road, grazing. Cute, for geese.
 
I found a whiskered tern in Cornwall (although I later discovered that someone else had found it at the same time). I must have been nearly 40.
 
Has anyone else on this thread, reported finding an 'extralimiral' rarity, outside of the UK though I have indeed found a few..
Red-throated Diver in Nepal, 1st for Nepal and only the second for the Indian Subcontinent / Dark-chanting Goshawk in Israel which was the 2nd national record follow one way back in 1978 / Ancient murrelet 1st for Imperial County at inland Salton Sea, California.
Might be others that can’t think off the top of my head
 
My first BB rarity (still in circ) was a flyby RT Pipit in Somerset when aged 38 so not a whippersnapper. Found quite a few of the former BBs mentioned (Pallas', AGP x2, Bee-eater, RF Falcon x 2, Cory's in Yorks, WB Diver etc). Rarest bird was a Lanner in Spain this summer though.
Plenty of options for Pallas's ... Leaf Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Sandgrouse, or Rosefinch?

The 1984 Wilson's Phalarope at Radipole was my first (and still only) in the UK, so thanks for that James!

My first and only self found BB rarity was a Spotted Sandpiper on the Plym Estuary in December 1987, aged 17.

Holding up the end of the international contingent ... My first self found rarity outside the UK was an almost unbelievable double of Japanese Robin (8th record) and Fujian Niltava (12th or so record) at the then unknown forest site Ng Tung Chai in Hong Kong on Boxing Day 1994. Even better...both were males!

Cheers
Mike
 
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Caspian Tern aged 38 in 2017. The only BBRC rare I have ever found.
I have heard Lapland Bunting but could not see it as it flew over so it was never found.
 

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