Fork-tailed Swifts - Prince of Wales Is.

To: "Birding-aus" <>, "Michael" <>
Subject: Fork-tailed Swifts - Prince of Wales Is.
From: " Jon Wren" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 00:07:30 +1100
Gooday all and Mike,
This evening Mon 13 Feb. 2006 between 1858 and 1910 approx 70 Fork-tailed Swifts were feeding above Muralug Village on Prince of Wales Is. Weather conditions looked like rain but failed to eventuate, cloud was 8/8. Birds seemed to be travelling in a Northerly direction and were at various heights. As soon as the F-t Swifts disappeared the Flying Foxes started to arrive from Hammond Is. for a feed on some POW Mangoes.

At the time the light was fading but I did notice that birds that appeared small were F-t Swifts higher up than the main flock, if I was lucky enough to focus on these fast moving, darting birds in time to pick up any distinguishing features. I've been coming to the Torres Strait since about 1974 and still have not been able to satisfactorily ID any possible Collocalia species. The birds are so quick in their flight and what with obstructions from vegetation how do you know if you are watching the same bird. On this occasion I took to the roof of the power shed where I had an unobstructed view from Heath Point through to Blue Fish Point. Still no luck in finding and positively id'ing any Swiftlets!

Yesterdays highlight was an Azure Kingfisher at the Homestead Waterhole and a Northern Fantail.

Jon Wren

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