Tuesday 6 November 2007

Little Swifts?

Little Swift Notes
Now, I've never been birding in Spain before and I've never seen the more likely White-rumped Swift but I'm fairly convinced I saw four Little Swifts during our recent trip to Fuente del Gallo.

The local birder I met certainly expressed his disbelief at my report but there were too many well-lit, close-range diagnostics on show for me to dare and believe my luck. I'm happy to be proved wrong so if you have any knowledge of these birds please feel free to leave comments below. After all, according to John Butler's Birdwatching on Spain's Southern Coast (2004) there have only been "35 records since 1980".

I had a good couple of hours to study these birds during which they regularly flew within 4-5 meters of me. All showed no sign of a white trailing edge to their secondaries and an extensive white patch on their rumps (viewable from below) but the most convincing feature had to be the complete lack of any fork in their short, square tails. Of course, a decent photograph proved impossible.

Anyway I'll report the sighting and conditions to the Spanish Rarities Committee and let you know what they say - either way.


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