Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Little Swift - Cheshire - 23rd June


I can still remember looking through the past reports of the Little Swift at Old Moor RSPB and wondering how long it was going to be until the next one. The species always seemed to have that veil of super rarity with it due to the fact most of the birds were one day wonders expect from the Notts and Norfolk bird, yet even though these birds were available perhaps not to the masses. Then on Friday afternoon when seawatching news broke of a Little Swift at New Brighton in Cheshire; which is near Liverpool for anyone wondering. Normally I would just up sticks and go (as it is only 3 hours each way), however for some reason I didn't bother and continued to seawatch off Hartlepool Headland. The highlight was 1 Manx Shearwater and I had already agreed that I would twitch the Little Swift for first light if it was still present in the evening, an anxious wait and then at about 09.15 news was put out the bird had roosted on the Pier House at New Brighton. Roosted was exactly the words I wanted to here, I set off at 12.45 and picked up some mates before going onto New Brighton, the drive down wasn't too bad and plenty of chat to keep my awake and entertained. Arriving at around 04.15 it was just starting to get light, there it was sitting hunched up in left hand corner of a window above the entrance to 'Pier House'. The rump was obvious and large, the bird didn't do much for about two hours but did raise its head on two separate occasions and the best was when it eventually woke up to fly and some amazing views were had of it sitting head up before taking off.

(Little Swift - © Andrew Kinghorn)

It was nice sitting but it was nothing compared to actually seeing the bird in flight! What a beauty, darting about over our heads showing well with its large white rump and throat patch being obvious. They are just how I remembered them in Israel last year, except this bird was allowing for some amazing views and it was actually in Britain! It performed amazing well both at close and distant quarters, allowing for comparison with Common Swifts in varying lighting conditions and distances. It was easily picked out even with the naked eye just going of behaviour. A truly awesome bird.

(Little Swift - © Zac Hinchcliffe

(Little Swift - © Zac Hinchcliffe

(Little Swift - © Zac Hinchcliffe

(Little Swift - © Zac Hinchcliffe

Until next time, Foghorn out!

2 comments:

  1. what a great tick to have,superb captures.
    Love your Header.
    john.

    ReplyDelete