October 1984 - Should have known back then how things were going to turn out, I could have prevented so much heart ache and saved SO much money. Should have taken up airfix models!!. I was on the phone and being gripped off, and ok I'll admit it, I was in tears. I remember coming off the phone and telling Mum that Dad wasn't allowed to tick the YELLOWTHROAT he'd just seen on the Scillies!!! Of course, he did tick it and I still haven't got it back. He also inconsiderately ticked the CLIFF SWALLOW that he saw the previous October, another one I haven't got back yet, although I have tried. I twitched the one at The Verne, Portland in 2000, it was showing as we drove up to park the car, but then circled up high with the rest of the hirundines and wasn't seen again, despite staying until dark.
Anyway, I was in on the next trip to The Scillies the following year and what a year to make a debut. One week, 25+ lifers including: PARULA, YELLOW RUMPED WARBLER, YELLOW BILLED AND BLACK BILLED CUCKOOS (within an hour of each other on the 12th Oct!), but also Shag and Red Breasted Flycatcher, we all had to start somewhere!!!