'Record shot' it's an overused and much maligned term these days. It gets bandied about for images that clearly are anything but record shots. Does anyone seriously expect you to believe that a 1D, 500mm (or bigger) lens and a hide are ever going to produce a record shot worthy of the name? And don't get me started on bridge cameras, capturing perfect detail from a different county to the subject does not a record shot make. It's false modesty in many instances, thinly veiled to lure praise and clicks from across the ether.
True record shots take skills developed over decades, they capture essence not sharp detail, they flirt with your imagination, fill you with the possibility of what on another day may have been. They are the birding equivalent of Banksy's, moments of genius reflecting on our soundbite, point and click birding culture. Most go straight to the great trash bin in the sky, unappreciated, destined never to see the light and soar like the birds they hint at.
This morning after rolling off three patch year ticks in quick succession, Sedge Warbler followed by Blackcap seasoned with Common Whitethroat, I stepped forward and embraced my destiny. As the magnificence of a male Redstart flicked silently across my path it was like a slow motion movie, a somersault roll onto knees, the sun glinting in my eye like a ninja in the desert, I squeezed the trigger. The results speak for themselves, I humbly offer you a record shot.
Later with many singing Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers I took some photos.