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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Trimley Pacific Swift

Returning from the supermarket and hearing breaking news of a Pacific Swift down at Trimley, the same old questions surfaced. When confronted with twitching one in the past would it stay? (Cley, 1993, missed that one by 40 minutes, after dilly dallying around!), was it really one (aberrant Swift, initially identified as a Pacific- Walberswick 2012) and could I get a lift with someone/ or give someone a lift?? These were quickly resolved when James B travelled over and I drove down to Trimley St. Mary the road leading down to the reserve was choc-a- bloc with cars and absolutely no spaces. Fortunately at the full- up car park at the end, some birders were walking back and they said I could take their space, so parking well off the road on a slope we finally got going. I walked past the avenue of trees where many years ago, 1992, I had seen my first White- throated Sparrow. A very long 3 mile walk which took around 40 minutes & after 20 minutes we forked right and half an hour later we had reached the path to the river and walking along here we joined the thronged crowd on the bank over looking a marshy lagoon. They included Rob Wil & Win, Andrew E, Paul & Jane F and a later arriving Rob Hol & Paul W) At the back were some Shelducks and Dick W (with Maurice B behind him) directed me to look here and after what seemed an age I finally connected with my first British Pacific Swift, an incredible bird looking browner than the darker Common Swifts it was with, c60 & with a very clear white rump, more elongated wings, and more attenuated end/ ie. tail, it scythed the air and often flew low and then high. When it was against the trees we often lost it for a few moments before it was picked up again. For most of the time the tail was closed but at times showed it was deeply forked tail and the underparts were clearly paler sandy scalloped appearance. It flew low over the the lagoon, obviously feeding on insects and over the heads of the Shelducks on the water, a House Martin was also seen here too. it then flew past the marshes to the right and then turned around flew up past the trees and higher up into clear sky before turning around and back over the Shelducks again. It kept repeating this circuit and occasionally even varying it by sometimes it would fly towards us, flying low over the lagoon and showing really well especially when viewed in the 'scope! No pics I'm afraid, as i didn't fancy dragging the camera and lens over 6 miles of walking! We also received the shocking news that Police were issuing parking tickets to all the cars parked in Cordly road, & my car was parked here!! Walking back, we encountered an anxious late arriving John H and a few minutes later we received a bit of a soaking! Lee E was directing operations in the car park. I was relieved when we got back to the car, that I hadn't received a parking ticket, although I had parked very sensibly well off the road & not blocking any drives or the road itself. In the garden in the evening, a Goldfinch for the second evening running singing from our TV aerial. In the fish pond 3 Frogs seen with one showing exceptionally well.

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