That was until I saw this bird. I was happily photographing some Pacific Golden Plovers when I bird with a long (ish) curved beak walked out of some cover. Knowing that the beak was too short to be an Eastern Curlew, I though 'Whimbrel' - nice! I took some shots and the bird wandered back into cover. Looking at the pictures on the camera, I though they lacked a bit of zap or colour, so I went back to the Plovers.
A couple of weeks later, back at home, I was looking at the 'Whimbrel' pictures for a WBW post - and thought 'That beak really is very much too short, even for a Whimbrel'. So, I did some checking and got some second opinions - and the bird turns into a Little Curlew (Numenius minutus) which was a first for me! Not only that, a day or so later I find out it's only the 10th record ever for Lord Howe!
So, while I don't see rare things all the time, it seems that sometimes I do!
Looking at the pictures now, I'm surprised that I did not notice how relatively short the beak was when I saw the bird in the feather - clearly I need to pay more attention!