The middle of summer is always a quiet time of year for bird migration, and so we weren't expecting to see any unusual birds on our morning walk around the Point. You can imagine our surprise then when an Alpine Swift suddenly zoomed over the dunes in front of us, powered low over our heads and towards the mainland! As the name suggests, Alpine Swifts breed mainly in mountainous areas of Europe, but their long migration from southern Africa makes them prone to overshooting, and they are a regular vagrant to the UK. This is only the 2nd Alpine Swift to be recorded on Blakeney Point, the first bird was seen over The Hood in June 1962.
Alpine Swift (Joe Cockram)
Today has also been a good day for chicks. Two Reed Buntings fledged from a nest at the Long Hills. The last remaining Oystercatcher egg on the landing ridge hatched. Also, this Redshank chick hatched around midday, the chicks were audible inside the other three eggs, so they should hatch very soon.
Redshank chick beside three hatching eggs (Ajay Tegala)
Today's low tide seal count was the highest of the season so far with 875 Grey and 218 Common on the West Sands. Whilst counting the seals on the beach, two fledged Shelduck were seen and an Arctic Skua was pilfering fish from Sandwich Terns. There was also a Common Whitethroat in the plantation in the morning.