Sunday, 24 June 2012

Swift and Slow

An initial report of a possible Little Swift in Cheshire on Friday didn’t make a huge impression on me as they'd been a whole succession of ‘white rumped swift’ reports over the last few weeks. But later reports had it showing well until it went to roost. I couldn’t make it up there all day Saturday, so I was comforted by reports of it showing down to a few feet all day. Even though there was no report of it roosting on Saturday I headed up on Sunday with no news for most of the journey, only to get a ‘no sign’ report as I got closer. Today was bright and sunny so this just felt like it was not going to happen with the bird moving off with the good weather. After a little time in the town I ended up away from the coast where the bird had been seen just a few minutes before, tumbled out of the car to find I’d missed it by a few minutes. Then suddenly it was in the sky with some Swifts, its fluttery flight and occasional towering making it possible to pick it up at some distance. It was ranging high and over a wide area but showed frequently and occasionally fairly close over the heads of the half a dozen of us watching the bird.
The journey home was abysmal, taking several hours longer than the journey there as roadworks and delays forces increasingly random detours to keep moving, during which I probably drove within less than five miles of a singing Corncrake that would have been an English tick (OK I don’t keep an ‘England’ list but I haven’t heard one for over twenty years).