Bird Watching (UK) - - May Id Challenge -

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

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