As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Ultra-rare bird spotted over Newfoundland

Published on July 23, 2016

The anything but common Common Swift spotted over Cape Race

In birding, like in any other sport, they say you have to be good to be lucky but sometimes nothing explains a great event other than pure simple luck.

Due to a compounding series of events Ken Knowles and I were driving through Portugal Cove South on the southern Avalon Peninsula at 1 p.m. on a Tuesday. There is a dead zone for cellphone reception between Renews and Portugal Cove South. The smartphoned chimed as we arrived back into the land of cellphones.

In the time it took to drive from Renews to Portugal Cove South a storm of emails and texts had been flying back and forth between birders in response to a photograph of a bird that Cliff Doran had taken at the Cape Race lighthouse. We checked out the picture on Cliff’s Facebook page.

It was a swift. A somewhat blurry photo with the tail cut off.

Swifts are worldwide group of birds built for flying at breakneck speeds in search of airborne insects. They tend to hunt high above swallows and other fly-catching birds.

There are no swifts native to Newfoundland and Labrador.

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