Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Pallid Swifts save the day!

I had 3 PALLID SWIFTS this afternoon at "Campo Carri" of Banne (TS). I spotted the three swifts at about 17.55 as I was leaving the area. They were mixed within a flock of 30-50 House Martins and Swallows. A good record for the day and for the season!
By this time the species should be more regular than Common Swift, although this year some Commons are now still around. The above photo shows one of the Pallids... or at least it should show - I don't think you can tell a Pallid from that shot!
Some grounded migrants still in the area, but in considerably lower numbers: 4 Northern Wheatears (all 1st winter - see pics below), 3 Whinchat and 2 calling Willow Warblers. I don't know if the juvenile Red-backed Shrike needs (yet) to be considered a migrant. It's probably one of the youngs fledged in the area. Also 4 Woodlarks were present, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Sparrowhawk giving acrobatic views, 1 female Black Redstart, 1 Marsh Tit. From the side of the path I also "flushed" a Brown Hare - quite heart-stopping encounter!

Local patch: one Garden Warbler is still present in the area, always on that same fig-trees, along with male and female Blackcap. Flock of 40-50 House Martins and a Short-toed Treecreeper were also of note. A Robin singing in the evening. Butterlies included a Painted Lady and a Southern Comma (on the photos below), apparently more common than the Comma Butterfly here!