I first visited the site on March 3rd 1990 when I heard from a friend, Mike Gould, that there were a few Snow Buntings wintering there. I saw three Snow Buntings and also a Red-breasted Merganser. My next visit followed a report from Barry Wright, on April 28th that year, that he had seen a Hoopoe flying east over the football pitch. He had also noted that there were two singing Grasshopper Warblers there. I made my second visit the next day. Whilst the Hoopoe had moved on (it had been seen later the same day at Reculver), I did see one Grasshopper Warbler and also noted a Greenshank calling and six Turtle Doves, a Cuckoo and two Redpolls flying west. I visited again the next day when I saw a Greenshank, a Whimbrel, two Sandwich Terns, two Turtle Doves, a Wheatear and the Grasshopper Warbler was still singing. An early before work visit on 2nd May produced five Little Terns. The next day I was there with Brendan Ryan and we saw a male Redstart, a female Ring Ousel and a late Fieldfare. I had lived in the area for about a year a half and had concentrated my birding on Seasalter and Oare Marshes but, clearly, Swalecliffe was worth adding to my regularly haunts!
However, no more visits were made after May 25th until August 20th but a visit on 27th of that month, when I saw a juvenile Golden Oriole, a Peregrine and a Pied Flycatcher, confirmed my view that this was a place to watch. By the end of the year, I had made 34 visits (many of them quite short) and ended the year with a Lapland Bunting on December 29th.