Pallid Swift

23 November 2020 | Posted in Barry Yates , Rye Harbour , Birds
Pallid Swift
Pallid Swift

On 16th November Rye Harbour Nature Reserve had a visit from a very lucky bird.

A Pallid Swift was picked up exhausted in a garden in Somerset and taken to Secret World Wildlife Rescue. It was treated for a couple of weeks for dehydration and starvation. 

Pallid Swift b

A few weeks ago, during severe storms from the south, a few Pallid Swifts were swept from their breeding sites in Spain, and carried north as far as Poland. This one was lucky and had careful help to get it fit and back on its way to spend the winter in Africa.

But where to release it? Edward Mayer of Swift Conservation suggested Rye because thousands of Common Swifts, the only swift that breeds in the UK, feed around Rye during the summer and it's is a nice short hop to France. 

It was driven to Rye by Jamie Kingscott and Marie Densten of SWWR and released in the north part of the nature reserve. It was launched into the westerly wind and quickly turned south and then east and flew rapidly towards Dungeness, so it knew where to go!

We hope that it's now flying in African skies.

Pallid Swift c 9278


  • Daniel:

    01 Dec 2020 12:41:00

    Thank you! Such a lovely story – makes me more interested in birds and their incredible abilities.

  • David Rodwell:

    01 Dec 2020 12:43:00

    What wonderful, caring people are Jamie Kingscott and Marie Densten of Secret World Wildlife Rescue are to drive all the way from deepest Somerset to Rye just to release a single Pallid Swift. This touching activity shows us all just how caring some people are to make all this effort for just one bird. Well done to all who were involved in saving this lovely little chap.

  • Jenny Green:

    01 Dec 2020 13:05:00

    This tale has cheered me up enormously today…
    We all desperately need good news, not bad news at the moment…..Congratulations to Rye harbour Nature Reserve…..♡♡♡♡♡♡

  • Julie Allen:

    01 Dec 2020 13:45:00

    What a beautiful bird. How lucky to be found and cared for before journeying onto to its winter location. Thank you for sharing.

  • Rob stewart:

    01 Dec 2020 16:22:43

    Absolutely brilliant.

Leave a comment