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South, is it that way?

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

Pallid Swifts roam between the Mediterranean basin and central Africa through their seasonal migratory movements. Seeing them outside this route is a coincidence, however, almost every year just after the breeding season, there are some records of these birds along the west coast of Europe to the North Sea.

This year, perhaps the result of winds from Africa that built up in October and November, this influx was particularly noticeable and pale swifts were seen in Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the French coast of Normandy and even in Sweden.

In Great Britain, the Pallid Swift is a rare species, first recorded in 1978. In October and November of this year, an unprecedented number of these birds were sighted, with dozens of records of Pallid Swifts being reported every year. all over the island, mainly along the coast. In 2018, a similar meteorological phenomenon had also caused a wave of Pallid Swifts, with at least 21 observations. That record was largely surpassed this year, with over 70 observations recorded.

Birdwatchers in the Netherlands were also treated to this influx, with around 15 observations during this year. Pallid Swifts were also recorded in Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France and Sweden during this period and certainly many more passed unseen.

Could it be that any of the Pallid Swifts marked by the andorin with GPS logger in the colonies of Arrábida or Vila Nova de Famalicão was part of this influx and went to visit these countries?

We won't know until next year! Stay tuned!


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