07/11/2013
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Common and Pallid Swifts ID Photo Guide

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Juvenile Common Swift (Aylesbury, Bucks, mid-July 2002). Photo by David Kjaer (www.davidkjaer.com).
Juvenile Common Swift (Aylesbury, Bucks, mid-July 2002). Photo by David Kjaer (www.davidkjaer.com).

Spring into summer, and again in late autumn, are times in which the familiar Common Swift has to be separated from Pallid Swift, its rarer southern congener, which probably occurs in Britain more often than is currently known. Close not only in plumage but genetics as well, the species pair is one of the trickiest in British birding, but with good views, close comparison and experience, the two are identifiable in the field by the conscientious birder. Andy Stoddart takes a fresh look to establish the definitive identification criteria.

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Common and Pallid Swift Photo ID Guide
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