26 Apr 2006

A swift and whitethroat for the year.

128. Common Swift Apus Apus
129. Whitethroat Sylvia communis

I went to the Castle Island Hide on the Quoile pondage which as the crow flies is exactly two miles from my house and three miles by car. I was in the process of counting all the black tailed godwits (67) when my first swift of the year flew by. I think one of my earliest memories of birds were the swifts screaming over the
town where I went to nursery school: Alresford in Hampshire. Apart from the even earlier memory of a pigeon sitting at the end of the pram. And to think that this swift had screamed its way from South Africa. They tend to arrive later than the swallows and house martins and then leave earlier around august. They are also long lived birds and have been recorded over 20 years old. It also spends most of its life on the wing eating, sleeping and ----ing.

The last time I was at this hide (2 Days ago)I was mentioning to another birder that I walk regularly out at Killard Click on Killard for description. Here are a couple of photos from same viewpoint one looking southeast and the other southwest.
The birder said to me had I seen the whitethroats that come each year. I said I hadnt and would keep an eye out for them.( Whoever it was thankyou for the advice) As I was leaving the area my dog flushed a small bird into a hedgerow and after much searching I finally found it through all the branches. It was fairly obscured and I thought it might be a whitethroat, but wasnt absolutely sure. So I went home and looked at my Collins Bird Guide Svensson and I still wasnt sure until I quite by chance came across Postcard CV on Birdforum who is doing his yearly list by photo here or here and at number 118 at the bottom of the page was a photo of the bird I saw. And for further proof I went out this morning with my camera and got a considerably worse photo than Postcard CV,s effort.

Now for my next mystery bird What is the nearest gull I would dearly love it to be a Bonapartes.

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