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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Lacking?

Might I first start by apologising to those, who were looking for my "phantom post" entitled Stuff(ed) . No sooner than I pressed publish, did I hit the delete button, and am mightily glad I did so. I nearly did a complete stranger a major disservice and one that I rightly would have been slaughtered for. My cynicism almost my undoing on this occasion - I lack good faith.

I also lack experience of late autumn swifts, in the UK, as does the entire birding community! I have seen odd birds in October and even one in late-November, but their occurrence is very rare thus building an intimate knowledge of these out of range/season birds and the criteria for 100% correct id is unlikely. So where does this leave the individual who has the good fortune to encounter a fly by swift at this time. Struggling, that's where! Even if armed with a camera, the conditions which got the bird there, in the first place, are very unlikely to be those in which top-notch photography will be possible.

So, do you bite the bullet and report the bird as "swift sp." or do you try, to the best of your ability,  to get a specific id. I have seen 1,000's of Pallid Swifts on my travels around Europe, the vast majority during the summer when conditions are bright and id is fairly straight forward - they look pale (hence Pallid). They appear quite contrasty, particularly on the under wing, and fly with a less graceful/easy manner in comparison with our Common Swifts - in my opinion. Trying to apply any of this experience to a lone bird, flying in the gloomy conditions of a UK late-Autumn is simply not on. Yes, lacking in experience indeed - so who is qualified to pass judgement, based on UK experiences?

 
 
 

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