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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Roosting Swifts


After driving back from Ebbsfleet, yesterday afternoon, I was blissfully unaware of the host of rarities in North Suffolk until appropriately enough we were driving near Minsmere when I heard the statement that a very rare bird a Lesser Kestrel (!!) had been found on Sunday at Minsmere and the dulcet tones of Colin J was saying that twitchers were travelling as far as Scandinavia to see it. Typical! The moment I leave the country, rarities flood in; notable examples in the past have included Great Spotted Cuckoo, White- spotted Bluethroat, Black Kites and a Killdeer on two separate occasions. I'd missed them all, I still need Killdeer as a lifer. However, a Lesser Kestrel was much rarer than any of  these. It was raining however, and the possibility of seeing a roosting pair of Alpine Swifts around the CEFAS labs and S. Lowestoft seafront was too good and opportunity to miss despite my exhausted state. Early evening (Monday 29 March) saw me walking around the CEFAS labs 3X to no avail, a kind birder walked up and informed me 2 were currently roosting below the right hand eaves at the very top of a red brick building block of flats, just 3 buildings south of the Victoria hotel. I could see the 2 birds hunched up together, one with a wing over the other in the top right hand corner of the building.
I was glad I was able to direct several birders onto them (very easy to miss!) including our regular Lowestoft birder correspondent Paul W.

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