Here we have a long-winged brown and white bird. Brown wings and white belly, brown breast band and short forked tail, surely mean this is a Sand Martin? But, hang on a minute, those wings are surely too long (in proportion to the body) for a martin? This bird has more the structure of a swift than a hirundine. Also, that breast band, on second look, is further forward, as a continuation of the dark cheeks onto the lower throat, with the throat patch just being a small pale oval. And the vent and undertail coverts are a sharply divided brown, not the white you’d expect for a Sand Martin. Swift shape and Sand Martin-like patterning all point to this being an Alpine Swift, the massive, montane swift which is a rare visitor to the UK from the south.
KEY FEATURES Very long wings, short forked tail Brown and white bird White belly, dark throat band Dark brown underwing and undertail