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.
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.