Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Common Swift (Apus apus)

Adult Common Swift (subspecies A. a. apus) at Geddington, Northants - July 2012

OTHER NAMES: Swift, Screamer, Devil-bird, Screech Martin

Local Name (Spain): Vencejo comĂșn ("Common Swift")
Featured Subspecies: Apus apus apus
Weight: 35-56g
Length: 16-17cm
Wingspan: 38-40cm
UK AMBER STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The swift is a widespread and common Summer visitor to the UK - it is larger than the unrelated swallows and martins and can be distinguished by having no easily visible white on it and it's long scythe blade shaped wings. The trick with this species is that it's very hard to photograph - the fundamental problem being that it is a species which it's a species which rarely willingly lands to the point where they sleep on the wing and furthermore is one of the fastest birds in the UK. In the end I have had to settle with manually focusing on somewhere where they are feeding and taking sequential photo's until a legible one turns up - quite possibly the most difficult "common" bird to photograph.

Related Species:
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Genus: Apus
Subspecies: A. a. apus, A. a. pekinensis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Common Summer migrant breeder (87,000 pairs)
 - Seen at a large number of sites, including but not limited to GeddingtonKettering. Rutland Water and Rainham Marshes.
SPAIN - Abundant Summer breeding migrant
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Abundant over Madrid and Toledo.
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Common in Madrid and Monfrague National Park.

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