Looking at Green Withens blog, Darryl is on about the dullest and the best rarities he's seen over the years. It gets you thinking. Without giving the game away he has pics of by far and away the dullest first for Britain I've ever seen...although maybe Canvasback is a contender.
Best birds though, thats different. They fall into different categories.
1. Rarest Bird I've seen. Must be Slender billed Curlew, and I wouldn't be suprised if it eventually gets taken off the BOU list...a bit controversial is that, but I bow to my well studied peers and its on my list. I might stick my field notes on here sometime...
2. Favourite County Rarity ( what do you mean where?...Northumberland of course). Tricksy. Try Bridled Tern in two consecutive years, adult male Red flanked Bluetail or maybe Olive backed Pipit or Black faced Bunting ( the first autumn juvvy in Britain a damn sight better than the Pennington bird seen previously)or Pied billed Grebe or Lesser Crested Tern or Franklins Gull or Red necked Stint. Or theres the aforementioned Slender billed Curlew. Too many.
3. Best Looker ( The 'Toys' as JWR refers to them) - A never to be beaten Great Spotted Cuckoo at Teesside or the adult male Pied Wheatear at Scarborough was nice.Then theres the Rollers and Beeeaters etc.
4. Best self found. That narrows the field somewhat. Haven't found many BBRC rarities, best being Greenish and Dusky Warblers, White rumped Sandpiper and White billed Diver. At a County level the adult male Ortolan on Holy Island is only slightly beaten by the Boulmer Stone Curlew...
4. Just the Bollox. This is the rest. I liked Cedar Waxwing, Bobolink, Masked Shrike, Stellers Eider ( even though it was a duck, it is one of my all time best birds), Ivory Gull, Baillons Crake and American Robin. All were well worth the drive.
Bottom line is, its too hard to pick. All are great and very enjoyable. Here's to more to come!
5. The bird that beats eight bells of crap out of the lot?