Monday, 23 April 2018

Wintersett MEGA ! ALPINE SWIFT 23.04.18

9 - 13 degrees with 6/8 cloud and a cool south westerly.
Disposal Point: Whitethroat 5 m + 1 m WRes.
Wintersett Res: Lesser Whitethroat 1m west bank + 1 north bank ACP.  A Sedge Warbler was on the west bank.  Willow Tit 1m in the Willow Wood. 
Anglers CP; An Arctic Tern was new for the year list.  Common Tern 2. Dunlin 1.  Common Sandpiper 1.  Swift 8  House Martin 50.  An  ALPINE SWIFT was feeding over the east bank from 14.40hrs to 18.45hrs
Lepidoptera:  A female  Orange Tip was on the west bank WRes..
We'd  had a good morning and dispersed at lunchtime.  Pete Smith had a leisurely lunch in the CP café before making his way back to the ACP main hide, where he began scanning around.  He could see a group of hirundines and Swifts over the east bank of the lake.
At 14.40hrs, one particular Swift attracted his attention,due to it's jizz  and flight.  It just looked dark, and the size was difficult to judge at long range.  However, it was enough to make Pete dash round the lake to check if it was an Alpine Swift.   Expectations were not high due the mega status of the bird.
Two brief stops, during the dash around the lake, to check the bird kept hopes alive as the jizz looked very good, and there was a possible hint of pale on the underside.  The third stop to check the bird revealed all as it banked, and a white belly was in full view!
A first for the Wintersett Area after 40 years of dreaming of one each Spring!
News was put out quickly and quite a few birders  began to arrive..  The Wintersett Team turned up  in various states of anxiety and breathlessness, even the two who were in torment at work,  and all were entertained by the bird putting on an amazing show, giving  brilliant views and flying directly, overhead.  
It remained on show until 18.45hrs, when it rained slightly, and the hirundine flock towered up and moved off north taking the Alpine Swift with them.

                                 Alpine Swift                  ACP      MHemingway
                                   Alpine Swift                   ACP       PMeredith
                                 Alpine Swift           ACP     CSwaine

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