Sunday 16 June 2013

Pacific Swift, Trimley NT, Suffolk

Yesterday was my lovely wife's 40th birthday. We had extensive celebratory plans for the day, and they didn't involve twitching a mega rare Pacific Swift, jut 70 miles away, just over the Suffolk border. When news broke mid morning I consigned myself to missing the UK's first Pacific Swift for 20 years. News continued throughout the day that the bird was still showing well just to rub it in.

So, when I woke up this morning and checked Birdguides, I was amazed to see that it was still present. All I had to do was make breakfast for our friends, who had stayed over, and I was set to go. By 10.30am I was on the road. An hour and quarter later I was parking up, and setting off on the 3 mile walk to the lagoons. It took about 40 minutes to speed walk the 3 miles and I was at least pleased that it was on a dirt track on not the shingle/stones of Blakeney Point! Who can forget the Alder Flycatcher twitch! I lost 2 toe mails on that slog up the point. Anyway I digress. I was surprised to see so many birders on site, a good 400 - 500 were lined up on the grassy bank looking out over the lagoons.

It appeared the bird had not been seen for between 10 minutes and 2 hours depending upon who I asked. Good numbers of Common Swifts could be seen distantly but too far away to enable any distinguishing features to be made out. Slowly but surely the swifts edged closer and closer. Someone called the bird but I couldn't latch on to it, then suddenly, there it was. Yes! Once picked up it became easier to pick it out as it flew lower over the water. It wasn't long until it was over my head and flying off over thee river and out of sight. Hundreds left! Tick on their list. About 100 stayed eager for more and 10 minutes later it had snuck back and this time provided short but very good views as it hawked low over the lagoons. 

Very happy I made the 3 mile return trip to the car feeling quite lucky that this time the birding gods seem to have smiled on me as this mega rare eastern vagrant hung on for a 2nd day.                            

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on photographing well such a rarity, Martin!