An excellent day in Kent with Rich and Dante. We made moves to catch up with the adult Summer plumaged White Billed Diver that had been sitting on the sea around the Margate Area the previous day or two. Whilst looking (with no luck) from Botany Bay the Swift sp that had reportedly gone to roost the night before was suddenly in front of Dante and I. It was a challenge at times but I could see that this (juvenile) bird had pale median coverts fading gradually into the greater coverts without a sharp contrast with the secondaries from below and photos showed that the paler upper greater coverts contrasted with the darker secondaries from above. The face and head pattern was one of smooth transitions between tones too, with pale lores and suited Pallid Swift. photos made it easier to see other crucial features that support this ID shown in the photos below.
t5 and t6 being the same length as apposed to the longer t6 in Common Swift.
I’d read the article in BB over the summer and between us we remembered most of the features but not recently enough for full confidence, despite this I tweeted out that the features suited Pallid which got a mixed reaction with many nay sayers. I’m happy with it as an experience and was glad to have the chance to look at it as a ‘Swift sp’ rather than coming to a conclusion based on a certain preconception.
News broke quickly after of the Whereabouts of the Diver and we made it over there in no time. I should add it was a tick for me.
This picture of course does it no justice but it was amazing. AMAZING.
We checked our Dover patch at Langdon Hole with no luck and headed to Dungeness for the Gulls and to look at a juvenile Lesser Yellow Legs that had turned up on the Midrips pools on the firing ranges just over the border in East Sussex.
A beautiful place to look at a brilliant bird and just the three of us too.
Next a perfect end to the day and nothing makes us happier than chucking hovis at large gulls by the fishing boats, there were 2 Caspian Gulls present, a first and a second winter which we watched along side Richard Smith and Martin Casemore.
A Great Day and a really great mix of birds. well done everyone