Pacific Swift present on Father’s day 16/6/2013

Posted: June 20, 2013 in Bird Watching, Birding, Twitching
Tags: , , , , , ,

At 10-30am last Saturday morning I checked the rare bird news and the message, “Pacific Swift at Trimley St Mary’s, Suffolk and showing well”, had all kind of emotions running around in lots of fellow birders brains. The memory of my bachelor night in Cley in 1993 over the Friday & Saturday and as we got home a Pacific Swift was found on the Sunday. Shall we go and risk the bird flying off or don’t go and the bird is sure to stay. I got an hourly update from my birding pals who really thought the same. Well I had gardening to do and other chores and as the day moved slowly by the swift was still performing well. It was now too late to go and a few curses were uttered and my motto of, “strike whilst the iron is hot” was forgotten about. I consoled myself with the thought’s of a trip to Angelsey on Sunday, but we had to have a Plan B just in case the swift did stay, not much chance of that happening though! So we decided to head east in the morning, maybe Lincolnshire.The full “A Team” met at Steve B’s house at 6-00am and we headed off east and a few questions about were we were going,there were no negative comments as the news that the Pacific Swift was still present. We made good progress and arrived in a beautiful English village called Trimley St Mary’s in lovely weather. A very brisk two and a half mile walk now was made with only a stop to “water the horse”. Upon arrival about 60/70 birders were watching all the Swifts flying above the lagoon at the north end of the reserve. After a nervy 5 minutes the Pacific Swift flew low over the water and gave good, if a little distant views, it flew high then repeated the fly past a few times before flying higher with the other Swifts to feed. What a cracking bird to see with its longer wings, white rump, ability to change direction in the blink of an eye, twenty year’s of waiting were over. Is it the bird seen at Spurn and Linconlshire last week? All the anxiety of Saturday passed us all by after we had all connected with this ultra rare bird. It was really good for all the “A Team” to see a new bird all together. The walk back to the car was much easier and some old birding friends were seen and spoke too, mainly in passing, for obvious reasons! We called at Dunwich Heath on our way home and saw Dartford Warbler and as time pressed on we headed for home reaching Rochdale by 8-00pm. The swift had been first seen around 10-30am on Saturday and stayed around till around 4-00pm Sunday about 29 hours making it the longest staying Pacific Swift.At home it was Father’s Day and I had got a really good present in the form of a very rare bird!

Dave O.


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