Monday 25 September 2023

New Bird for Kent ........American Cliff Swallow

                                                19th & 20th September 2023

                                                        Joss Bay  Margate 


American Cliff Swallow.

On Tuesday the 19th September i was at home recovering from a bad back which has been plaguing me for a couple of weeks when news of a Red Rumped Swallow at Joss Bay in Thanet appeared on BirdGuides, although i was tempted to head to Thanet  to see it the weather outside was overcast & very windy plus my back was still not 100% better.

Then everything changed !!!!! News then came out that this bird was indeed a possible American Cliff Swallow !!!!!!!!!

Bad back or no bad back i just had to make the effort and go, i loaded my car with Bins & camera , couldn't manage the scope but to be honest i didn't think i would need that anyway.

Eventually i reached Joss Bay car park not knowing if the possible American Cliff Swallow had been confirmed or not plus was it still here or had it buggered off whilst i was on route ???

I could only see one other birder looking over the Cliff edge , he didn't look like he was going to jump off , so that was a good sign i hoped !!

Then i saw 2 or 3 hirundines fly over his head and heading towards me, i checked them out and the first bird i saw was :


American Cliff Swallow.

This was an amazing experience , the views were absolutely superb , quite often very close overhead and even flying between us at times, i went down to the beach a couple of times and enjoyed some lower views as it flew very fast past the cliff face and much to fast to get a photo (for me anyway).

I did manage some however from higher up :

American Cliff Swallow.

The American Cliff Swallow is a first ever record for Kent and many congratulations to the finders and a big thankyou for putting the news out so quickly, this bird was also present on the 20th September.

It was also great to bump into so many familiar Kent birders on site & many thanks to Steve Ashton for giving my camera the once over (hopefully my photos will improve in due course).