I say Pacific you say… SWIFT!

Jonny’s big bird day out

I say Pacific you say…






Ah, that’s better.

swiftweb s babbsPacific Swift photo thanks to Steve Babbs (blog)

Having co-found the Minsmere Savi’s last month I thought I’d best get out and find another goodie in June. Sadly Mal wasn’t with me today and I cannot get hold of him!

If anyone has seen / heard from a bespectacled gent, birding around East Anglia and answering to the name of Mal – please tell him to drop me a line!

With the galfiend working in Ippy all day I fancied a good peep or even a Shrike on the walk from Levington to Trimley Marshes and back.

Didn’t manage either of those ‘targets’ but I’ll settle for the Swift.


We (the hound & me) arrived at the first hide, the most northerly of the three adjacent to the Orwell embankment mid morning. I entered the and met volunteer warden David. Together we scanned over the scrape and enjoyed Avocet, Teal and belter views of a female Marsh Harrier.

Ever since a grainy shot of a ‘Swift sp’ went up on the BINS site last month I’ve been checking Swifts religiously. Over work, Livermere, the house – anywhere!

As I chatted with Dave I scanned through the Swifts unbelievably one had a white rump!

image jwPacific Swift photo thanks to Jason Ward

At this stage I went into fibrillations – surely it wasn’t – it must be a abberative common? But it looks so f’in good?

It looked just like the Pacifics I watched over Nameri a few years ago. I was sure enough to call Bird Information and blurt out the salient features to an unsuspecting Charlie Moores!

With the news out I eagerly waited out the age it took for people to finally arrive!

When they did I was massively relieved – the I.D. was correct and with the sound of cameras clicking away I left the birds to the crowds.

Walking back to the car I met my good friend Lee who was scoping the bird from the embankment. It was only when he told me it was a lifer and his 499th UK bird I realised the enormity of it!

Basically despite the 6 accepted records in Britain for those that missed the Cley bird 20 years ago it’s the first chance of a grip back!

image 2 jwPacific Swift photo thanks to Jason Ward

I am delighted that so many people have been able to connect. From Suffolk birders to big-listers and from Wakefield and beyond!

Happy birding one and all.

Cheers ta,


@Jonny09Jonny   .. Jonny’s Blog

Eds comment:

Met Jonny Ranking as he joined us for the March 2013 Gullfest.

Jonny 'rare magnet' Rankin (left) with Sir Robert  'of the Arctic' Yaxley celebrating after seeing their first Killer Whales in Arctic Norway!

Jonny ‘rare magnet’ Rankin (left) with Sir Robert ‘of the Arctic’ Yaxley celebrating after seeing their first Killer Whales in Arctic Norway!

Hugely likable chap with wicked sense of humour. Big smile came across many faces upon seeing it was Jonny who had found it. The most memorable endeavours on the ‘Foot-it challenge’ in January were those of Jonny. Now one of the most memorable finds of June 2013 will be this bird. Delighted for him. Birding really is about both the birds and the people.

Same as Spurn?

Sort of the first assumption. It must be the same bird as this one at Spurn. Maybe, maybe not. As Jonny mentioned there had already been a sighting of a credible candidate in Suffolk. Is there a colony shy group of 100’s (probably several 1000’s) of mostly 1st summer Common Swifts doing a circular feeding movement that covers most of the English East Coast – or are there 2 birds?

and one of Jonny celebrating this evening…

Jonny celebrates

About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
This entry was posted in Swifts. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I say Pacific you say… SWIFT!

  1. Pingback: Birding Frontiers + 1 | Birding Frontiers

  2. Utterly top bloke, enormously rude and funny, and to say I was ‘unsuspecting’ when Mr R phoned me with the news of this wonderful find is – to put it mildly – clearly a restrained understatement from the normally unleashed and wickedly descriptive Mr R.
    Good on you, Jonny: couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke and birding needs you like you appear to need a breakfast Special Brew. We’d all be much he poorer without you – even if I still daren’t retweet you to my hardcore ‘followers’ of hunt sabs and animal welfare activists 🙂

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