Welcome to my blog. If you live in Surrey and birding is your obsession (to get out of bed at some ridiculously early time of the morning, no matter what the weather, to go and look at birds isn't normal behaviour, believe me) and you're still a bit of a novice (like me) then, hopefully, this blog is for you.

Wednesday 14 November 2018


Hot on the heels of the White-billed Diver last week, the latest influx of Pallid Swifts coaxed me back to Kent yesterday morning. I set off for Reculver where a Pallid Swift had been dodging the heavy rain showers most of the previous afternoon.

I wasn't expecting it to be still around for my latest twitch, and sure enough it wasn't. I met Marc Heath for the first time while I was there, where a lone, flighty Black Redstart gave us something to look at.

After an hour at the Roman fort I took to the road again and within 30 minutes I was at Foreness Point where a Pallid Swift had been reported earlier that morning and again around midday.

I parked in my usual spot and walked along the coastline towards Botany Bay and carried on walking towards the Captain Digby pub. Before I got there I came across Lee Evans and a local birder, who were both on the Pallid Swift, as was I moments later. And so within a week Margate had produced the goods yet again.

We watched it feeding around the Kingsgate Bay area. I took my eye off the bird briefly as Lee walked towards the pub and closer to the bay, when I saw it again flying closer towards me.  No-one else was around, which I thought was a bit odd, and I got great views as the Pallid Swift flew immediately overhead, before flying west toward Foreness Point. I followed it along Botany Bay and towards Foreness Point before I lost sight of it.

The second Pallid Swift flew close by
I put the sighting out on Rare Bird Alert, and moments later a Pallid Swift sighting was up on the site back at the Captain Digby.

The first Pallid Swift fed over Kingsgate Bay
I couldn't work out how the bird could be in two different places, but then realised they were two different birds. The bird I followed was a second Pallid Swift, while the original one had flown in the other direction.

I wonder what the next seven days will bring? A Pied Wheatear perhaps?

A Black Redstart on the rocks at Reculver

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