BIRD 3

Bird Watching (UK) - - May Id Challenge -

The first thing that may strike you about this bird is that it is al­most to­tally dark black­ish-brown (although we can mainly see only the up­per sur­face). Then again, it may have been the long, swept-back, very nar­row, sickle shaped wings, with a very short in­ner wing and much longer outer. These long, slim, swept-back wings in them­selves are enough to rule out the hirundines (swal­lows and martins), which de­spite be­ing aerial in­sect catch­ers and hav­ing long wings, have noth­ing of this scale. The nearly wholly dark plumage (with a hint of a pale throat patch), those long wings, the cigar shaped body and short, forked tail all point to this be­ing a Swift. Swifts are the most aerial of our land­birds, spend­ing most of their lives on the wing.

KEY FEA­TURES †Long, slim, sickle-shaped wings †Ap­pears all dark black­ish-brown †Cigar shaped body, short forked tail †Hint of pale throat patch

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