Friday, 22 June 2012
Little Swift - New Brighton - 22nd June 2012
Without a car, I was feeling almost physically sick when I heard about the Little Swift at New Brighton, Wirral. It was made even worse when I found out that the bird was showing very very well down to 4 feet at times as it fed in the rain with the breeding Common Swifts. Luckily, several texts to local birders paid off with a phonecall from Bill Aspin telling me he was about to set off and would i like to be picked up from j32 of the M6. We were soon on our way in the horrendous conditions, but an hour and a half later, we pulled upto New Brighton's front and the assembled group of 30+ birders.
The bird was in view almost straight away and hawked above us throughout our whole visit. It hawked high up, low down and at times, even came so close that it must have been only 4 feet away from our heads! It was so close that you could even hear it's wings cutting through the strong wind! I am very pleased with my photos as I've taken swift photos before and it certainly isn't easy. Combine the subject with terrible light, strong wings and a very shaky twitcher, and you've got a real challenge!
I was amazed how Storm-petrel like the bird appeared when it flew away from us (especially when it flew low over the waves into the wind!) It was a fantastically educational bird which, after several prolonged views of flight behaviour, was really easy to pick out of the flock, even without seeing the white rump.
One of the best birds I've ever seen without a doubt! A huge thanks to Bill Aspin for letting me know he was on his way and for driving the whole way. Huge congratulations must go to the travelling midlands birder who found this mind-blowing bird!