A late Swift

Yesterday morning, a Swift flew over the garden and put a smile on my face.

It’s so difficult to know when you see your last bird of a particular species for the year (at the time) as there is always the possibility of seeing another a little later.  My first Swift of the year is an event for celebration, my last only becomes known as time passes from its actual occurrence. Perhaps I’ll see another Swift today. Or tomorrow?  Or maybe the next will be around the 25 April 2015?

We don’t mark the arrival of winter visitors in the same way do we? Or do you? I certainly notice the first evening when I hear the thin call of a Redwing overhead but I’ve never kept a list of them like I have, at various times, for first Chiffchaff etc.

That first Redwing can’t be much more than about a month away. I’ll let you know when it occurs.

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7 Replies to “A late Swift”

  1. Thanks Mark, you've stirred a fond memory from my childhood growing up in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. Every year, sometime in October I'd be woken from my slumber to hear,somewhere overhead,the beautiful sound of the first mass of Brent Geese arriving for their winter hols on the Thames estuary. Somewhere, probably a box in my mums garage, I have a record of the arrival dates.
    Incidentally, I saw possibly my last Swift of the year scything its way through the driving rain at Walberswick on Sunday, I also smiled and felt a tinge of sadness mixed with admiration for this amazing species.

  2. I was graced by the presence of a lone swift not 2 days in Norwich. Warmed my heart it did.

    I don't keep notes on spring arrivals, but if I did I imagine I'd do it for the autumn arrivals too. I love seeing the first winter thrushes

    Equality for migrants!

  3. The House Martins and Swallows and gathering in bigger numbers behind our house everyday, so I they are thinking about setting off soon as well. My berry shrubs planted for the Fieldfares and Redwings don't look like they will do very well this year, so I will soon be spiking apples on to the feeding station as a plan b. I really, really like Fieldfares and Redwings.

  4. We still have parties of them screaming through the streets in Strathspey and the local birders' forum is full of comments about these being the latest anyone has seen here. I had 17 earlier in the week on the High Street in Grantown on Spey. Late broods?

  5. First fieldfare of the winter was seen to come in off the sea at Sheringham today I see......joining the usual wrynecks, pieds flycatchers, redstarts, whinchats etc typical for this time of the year.

    1. Nick, that answers my question of yesterday when I saw four pied wagtails on the neighbors sheep pasture (these pastures have been criticised for their billiard table grade grass length but are ideal for the pied wagtails -biodiversity rules). Four was the most i had seen all year and I wondered if they were migrants. Seemed a bit late for a local family to have just discovered the field. We are on the Suffolk Coast.


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