Re: birding-aus Swifts

To: Phil Gregory <>,
Subject: Re: birding-aus Swifts
From: David James <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 09:10:33 +1000
Phil and all,

Didn't mean to step on any toes. I wasn't talking about any specific
sightings or observers, the details of which i am not aware of. I was just
raising an issue that I've not seen mentioned elsewhere and which is
probably not obvious to a lot of birders who don't regularly think about
moult. On seeing a moulting Fork-tailed and after a quick look at the field
guides, I think an observer could easily be misled. 

little/house  swift may be more regular than is realised, but, on the other
hand it may be extremely rare and irregular. Only carefully documented
records (or the lack of them) can resolve this, and misidentified
fork-tailed swifts will cloud the issue. As Phil points out, the swifts are
out there, and its up to us all to work out what species are here.  but be

good swift watching.

At 13:31 11/01/00 +1000, Phil Gregory wrote:
>At the risk of  being controversial, I can't see how David James can
>tell someone that there square tailed white rumped swifts were certainly
>not Little Swifts and were therefore Fork-tails in moult. This is a
>possibility certainly, maybe even likely, but certainly? I don't think
>I suspect Little Swift is often overlooked or misidentified and may be
>much more regular than realised. I saw one in Dec 98 and another in Jan
>99, plus various probables that were not seen well enough to be sure.
>Confusion with White-rumped Swiftlet is possible on distant or poor
>views, but given a good look they should be easy enough to tell.  The
>jizz is quite different from Fork-tails, moulting or not........
>Keep a look out for them, the stormy weather is bringing lots of swifts
>Phil Gregory
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David James
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Qld 4810, Australia

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