A Surfeit of Swifts

Tim saw it first. The scythe of a crescent cut the air this morning at Happisburgh. No Radde’s Warbler, but on the windy ridge of the church, a Pallid Swift was consolation.

A phone call from Paul midday told of another over Temple Wood and it was heading my way. One of these beasts over the garden would be good. I stood willing it to fly by; and guess what? It did!

As I stood on the lawn I was treated to a flypast worthy of a Spitfire. The features stood out as if someone held up a field guide. When I returned with my camera it was on the horizon – you can’t have everything.

I followed it and over the cliff top fields it performed wonderfully.

Two birds … this darker bird and the paler Cromer individual were together over Northrepps at one point. I feel the Happisburgh bird was the darker individual relocating further north west.

2013 10 2013 Pallid Swift Trimingham Norfolk_Z5A6727

Note the length of the second primary

2013 10 2013 Pallid Swift Trimingham Norfolk_Z5A6781

… and the deep fork in the tail

2013 10 2013 Pallid Swift Trimingham Norfolk_Z5A6785

primary length again …

2013 10 2013 Pallid Swift Trimingham Norfolk_Z5A6827

… and look at that eye patch and throat colour.


4 Responses to “A Surfeit of Swifts”

  1. 1 Dave Powell
    October 26, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Your having a great time in your garden; do you want a lodger!!!


    On 26 October 2013 19:01, Letter From Norfolk

  2. October 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Lovely birds! We have what may be swallows here in New Cairo in the late summer (they have gone now, presumably flying further south for the winter). My favourites are the European bee-eaters. We had loads of them in the spring, but only a few came by at the end of September/early October. I assumed they were the vanguard before the main flocks, but no further sightings since then. They are attracted to our house + garden by the bees we keep on the roof – often coming for breakfast, lunch and tea in the spring!

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