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")