Saturday, 27 September 2014

Hybrid hirundine at Dungeness

It has been a long September since getting back from the Azores. Up until today, and despite a fair amount of effort, the best thing I'd seen was a Whinchat at Crossness a couple of weekends ago. And with the southeast London scene still feeling pretty stale, I headed off to Dungeness for the day - primarily to look at gulls.

However, while at the fishing boats (where there was a 1st-winter Little Gull, 2 Med Gulls (2nd & 1st-winters) and an Arctic Skua) news filtered through that Dave Walker had trapped a hybrid Swallow x House Martin at the observatory. I'd never seen a hybrid like this before, and particularly as it was being ringed nearby, headed over to have a look: -

hybrid Swallow x House Martin (juvenile) at Dungeness, Kent 27th September 2014. Note the intermediate features including more uniform forehead, irridescent mantle and rear crown, off white rump patch and undertail lacking any spots as in House Martin while peach undertail coverts and ghosting of throat patch and breast band all characters of Swallow.
Thanks to Dave W, Dungeness Bird Observatory and the local birders.

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