House Swifts???

Subject: House Swifts???
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:50:46 +1100
I've been reluctant to post this because I only had a brief glimpse and
it's all based on very subjective impressions, but after chewing it over I
think it's worth mentioning.

Yesterday morning (27th Feb) I was at Wentworth Falls Lake (in the NSW Blue
Mountains) with a small birdwatching class. I was busy pointing out the
features of a Hardhead and Australasian Grebes on the far side of the lake,
when I looked up and noticed two swift-like birds flying away from us to
the north. They were already a fair way off, but I could see they had
swift-like wings, a large patch of bright white on the rump, and had a
slower and more even flight than Needletails or Fork-tailed Swifts. I
didn't see the shape of the tail or the throat or anything else about the
bird, and they disappeared over a ridge before we could get a better look.
One other person in the group who got her binoculars onto them also
commented on the white rump. They definitely weren't martins. It's possible
that they were Fork-tailed Swifts, but the flight style didn't quite seem
right and the white on the rump seemed too extensive. I didn't even think
of House Swift until I looked at the field guide later, and it all seemed
to click into place.

While this sighting can only ever remain one of those frustrating "maybes",
I suggest people look carefully at any swift-like birds at the moment. You
never know!



Carol Probets
Blue Mountains NSW

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