The sun will set on our glittering careers, one by one we shall slip off the twisty coastal road of societal erectness into low-security detention centres to think about what we've done. And in those darkest, longest nights (after match of the day) a shining nugget of gleaming rare will surface from the putrid sewerage system of our future minds. This page is our future salvation. I found it, it was me, it's great and I'm the greatest. We will remember the first hint of movement in the branches, the first sounds filtering into our brain, the double take when you check the 48692nd Dunlin of the year and notice that it isn't... then we will keel over into our porridge and die happy and incontinent.
Yes, even while testing revolutionary birding techniques (in the field) sometimes we actually skor raare. Some of these can be found below. Most photos and certainly any drawings have never previously been published; most of us only acquired digital cameras in the very recent past, and those using the archaic film medium only ever used it for family photos at Christmas. As such there are plenty of notable omissions, but we hope to beg and borrow some photos off other people, so expect occasional additions from the golden age.
Q: If you're wondering what we mean by a find, click here for our Self-found Rules.
Nb1: we've decided to slowly phase-out the dross from this feature.
Nb2: we've deleted anything post summer of love 2006
Left: Marsh Sandpiper, Pagham, July 2006, D. Brown (photo D. Brown). Right: Alpine Swift, Whitlingham Lane, April 06, J. Gilroy (photo J. Gilroy).
left: Red-breasted Flycatcher, Butt of Lewis, October 05, J. Gilroy, A. Lees (2nd of the day, 5th for the island, photo J. Gilroy)
middle : Pectoral Sandpiper, Storonoway, Lewis, October 05, A. Lees, J. Gilroy (photo J. Gilroy)
far right: Richard's Pipit, Blakeney Point, October 05, R. Martin, D. Brown (photo R. Martin)
left: Baird's Sandpiper, Smerwick Harbour, Kerry, Sept 05, J. Gilroy, I. Maclean, D. Edwards, D. Andrews (photo J. Gilroy),
middle: Ring-billed Gull, Smerwich Harbour, Sept 05, one of loads. R. Moores (photo R. Moores).
Right: Rosy Starling, Blakeney Point, Norfolk, Sept 05, J. Gilroy, S. Mahood (photo J. Gilroy) - second for Blakeney.
left: Richard's Pipit, Sandwick, Shetland Oct 04, J Gilroy (photo J. Gilroy).
middle: Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, Virkie Willows, Shetland, Oct 04, J. Gilroy (artwork J. Gilroy)
right "magik eye" Common Rosefinch, Bigton, Shetland, Oct 04, J. Gilroy (photo J. Gilroy)
left: Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Warham, Norfolk, Oct 04, J. Gilroy (photo J. Gilroy)
middle: "Trumpeter" Bullfinch, Blakeney Point, Norfolk, Oct 04, A. Lees, R. Moores, S. Mahood. First for Blakeney (photo J. Gilroy).
right: Baird's Sandpiper, Ballycotton, Cork, Sept 04, J. Gilroy, R. Moores, S. Mahood, J Bird (photo J. Gilroy)
left: Black-headed Wagtail, Spalding, Lincolnshire, June 04, J. Gilroy (photo J. Gilroy)
middle: Red-footed Falcon, Horsey, Norfolk (2nd bird), May 04, J. Gilroy (photo J. Gilroy)
right: Red-backed Shrike, Gibraltar Point, Lincs, May 04, A. Lees (photo A. Lees)
left: Bobolink, Bryher, Scilly, Oct 03, M. Baynes, A. Lees (photo R. Addison)
middle: Red-eyed Vireo, St Martin's, Scilly, Oct 03, A. Lees, M. Baynes (photo A. Lees)
right: Red-footed Falcon, Baston, Lincs, June-Sept 03, J. Gilroy (photo J. Gilroy)
Left: Pallid Harrier, Sennen, Cornwall March 03, J. Gilroy, R. Moores, S. Mahood. First for Cornwall and much better than all the lousy twitchable ones that ruined this species. (Photo P. Gale www.galleryofbirds.com)
Middle: Bonaparte's Gulls, Fairburn Ings, April 03, and Rush Hills, May 03 (different birds) J. Gilroy, first twitchable in Yorkshire and Norfolk (photo Garry Taylor www.spurnbirdobservatory.co.uk and Chris Bishop)
Right: King Eider, Holkam, Norfolk, January 02, D. Brown, S. Mahood, R. Moores, J. Bird, second 20th Century Norfolk record (photo T. Brown)
Left: American Wigeon, Marston STW, Lincs, April 00, A. Lees (photo A. Lees)
Middle left: Squacco Heron, Attenborough, Notts, June 1998, R. Martin (photo anon)
Middle rightt: Pallas's Leaf Warbler, St Marys, Scilly, Oct 97, A. Lees (photo A. Lees)
Right: White-rumped Sandpiper, Rutland Water, August 94, A. Lees. 1st for Leics, 4th for the Midlands (photo T. Collinson)