Thursday, 28 March 2013

Blast From The Past - 1990 Alpine Accentor

A magical few days during late May - early June 1990 had birders scrambling from one end of the country to the other, plus a visit to Lundy Island inbetween.

On the 27th May three megas were found; an Alpine Accentor on the Isle of Wight, White-throated Robin on Skokholm and an Ancient Murrelet on Lundy. These were a first for the Western Palearctic, a second for Britain and a blocker for the previous twelve years and not in that order. All of this and there was still, a Pallas's Sandgrouse on Shetland, and another first for the Western Palearctic still to arrive on June 6; a Tree Swallow on Scillies!

We were actually on the ferry across to the Isle of Wight when news broke of the Ancient Murrelet on Lundy. Yes, we all had the headless chicken syndrome for a while, but it eventually dawned on us that no matter what, we couldn't make Lundy today. The ferry across to IOW was busy, there was a major pilgrimage across the Solent taking place, this was the first British record for twelve years! 

This cracking little cousin of the Dunnock stayed until June 6, and was much admired by many visitors. A confiding bird that was also well photographed.