Friday, 16 November 2018

Pallid Swift

Lade - misty and murky - A grim start to the day with low cloud and a fine drizzle coming and going to the background bleating of the Dungeness foghorn. A few thrushes had dropped in overnight with 20 Blackbirds, 10 Fieldfares and five Song Thrushes scattered across the site, plus several Goldcrests by the ponds, 20 Mipits on the Desert and a Great Spotted Woodpecker on a power line pole.
  As the afternoon progressed the gloom got worse (despite a contrary weather forecast) and the temperature dropped as the wind picked up from an easterly vector. More Goldcrests moved through the garden fir trees and as dusk approached five Redwings dropped in to roost.

                                Pallid Swift over New Romney

New Romney - News came through this morning that yesterdays Pallid Swift had kindly stayed on and was performing over the town centre; chances are that it may have roosted on the church and been delayed by the poor weather conditions. Anyhow, by the time I arrived on site it was flying over the Sussex Road area where it was much appreciated by a gaggle of local birders and a few bemused passing members of the public. Most of the time the swift was quite high but did descend to show off a bright white throat patch and afford some dodgy pics with the bridge camera, although there was no chance of discerning any plumage detail in the poor light and drizzle. The flight mode was ponderous while the wing tips appeared blunt but both identification pointers are subjective on a lone bird. Luckily it was seen and photographed well yesterday and identified as a Pallid Swift, with the splayed primary tips on the right wing confirming it to be the same individual that was in Norfolk on Wednesday! Incredible, and a great find by Chris Philpott.

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