Fork-tailed Swifts at Sweers Island

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Fork-tailed Swifts at Sweers Island
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2003 19:52:57 +1000
G'day all,
Swift aficionados may be interested in the following extract of an email I received at 11.30am AEST today from Sweers Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Sweers Island resort is 30km north of Burketown
Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
" ...Just had several hundred Fork tailed Swifts go over - they seemed to come from the north - very hard to tell, as they were very high - close to 100ft - you could hear them, barely see them. After 20 minutes they dropped lower and I guess started feeding, swooping round the house.
A huge Cumulonimbus formed off the top of the island this morning, with those rolls along the front edge like wind shear - and as it spread out and moved south over the island the swifts appeared (checked your books and they are "most active in front of summer storm fronts").
Funny weather - when I got up 6.30am the breeze was from the SW, cloud moving from that way too - then the whole thing backed up at the top end of the island, it suddenly started to rain, the storm formed up and the whole system began to move south - I guess the "Monsoon Trough" must have been there or something!
Steady light rain now - not much in it. Birds are now gone.
I wonder if anyone has noted them coming up from the south like last time? It must be time for the last stragglers to head north out of the country? ... "

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