Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to 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!


Friday 4 November 2022

Fleetingly "swift" encounter

Early on Sunday morning (30th October 2022) I took a drive down to The Stour expecting to bump into Benno. The clocks had gone back an hour, at midnight, and it was all going "tits up" with timing. So, as it happens, we didn't cross paths and I decided to cut my losses and drive across to Pegwell Bay rather than head back home. This was purely to avoid waking Bev, who has absolutely no problems with an extra hour in bed!. It would have been around 08.20 hrs when I parked the van by the garage and took a stroll along the coastal path towards the bird hide. I had just reached the Garage Pool when I spotted a Little Egret flying over the salt marsh, gaining height, and heading off, high, inland. It was whilst watching the egret that I picked up two swift sp. moving deliberately west along the cliff-top, just beyond the hover port. 

Three photos, three species - you sort it out!
Answer at the end of the post

I only had my binoculars and the distance was in excess of 600m yet I'm totally confident that the two birds were Pallid Swifts. Of course I couldn't produce an accurate description based upon my sighting, certainly not one that would convince a bunch of "record committee" members as to the identity of said birds. But, guess what? I couldn't give a flying f*ck! I've been called a liar by these unelected goons once before and will never again put myself in such a position. 

The two birds followed the cliff-top right over the hover port and then continued westward toward Manston. The event was over within a couple of minutes and, once again, I was alone with my thoughts. I've seen hundreds of Pallid Swifts this year, two more really doesn't make any difference? Oh, and if you're worried about a self-found Kent tick? I found my first Pallid Swift out on the Ash Levels on 22nd November 2003!

Answer - Top = Plain Swift (Tenerife) Middle = Pallid Swift (Halkidiki, Greece) Bottom = Common Swift (Kent "Flatlands")


  1. Dyl, I might be mistaken but recently I read somewhere of a ST Eagle being 'a first for Kent'. Really! The second record at best surely? Was that the example of how your own record of the species was dismissed by envious factions within?
    Never bothered submitting records myself, because I'm unable to explain why a bird is what it is. One diagnostic feature is about my limit. Like the dark line over the eye of a female Cirl Bunting separating it from a female Yellowhammer. Quite pleased I know that one.

    1. Ric, the Short-toed Eagle, to which you refer, is certainly not a first for Kent. As for the record I had dismissed, it was of a, pristine, juvenile Booted Eagle (pale phase) which I found, in the company of Jack Chantler. Jack being a far more experienced, talented and well travelled birder than I at that time. Our record got "lumped" with a series of sightings of a tatty adult which had been originally discovered in Ireland before relocating to Cornwall and the west country. My issue is that the record was never assessed on its' own merit, thus my description of a juvenile bird was rejected out of hand, therefore I was lying about what I saw and attempted to convey in my written account. Never again will I put myself in such a position.
      What I see these days is of absolutely no concern to others and that's how it will remain - cheers for the comment - Dyl

    2. Dyl, I was correct. I was mistaken 🙄 and, good luck and skill with the coming Pike campaign.