For the last couple of weeks a very rare Swift – I mean a ‘mega’ Pacific Swift, has been touring the English east coast from Suffolk to Yorkshire. Pacific Swift, which breeds from central Siberia east to the Pacific, has only been recorded in the UK on a handful of occassions. Last Wednesday morning the bird flew past Spurn Point, heading south, and was seen at Saltfleetby, Lincs., later that afternoon. Yesterday it reappeared at Trimley marshes in Suffolk. Much against the odds it was still there this morning so we went for it. After an anxious two and a half mile hike from the car to the SWT reserve and an hours wait, the bird finally obliged with a reasonably close fly past over the lagoons and then away high over Felixstowe docks and out across the river towards Essex.
A small part of the crowd, gathered in anticipation
Pacific Swift (left) and, for helpful comparison, Common Swift
Although a rather poor record shot, this photo shows the essential features: white rump, elongated forked tail, longer wings and slightly projecting head profile
Side view of the white rump patch
A very nice Fathers Day present – thank you!