We’re in the first week of September, and many of our seasonal migrants are still with us.While our Barn Swallows have all but disappeared, the Red-rumped Swallow has yet to head south, and has stayed on with the last of the warm, sunny weather of summer.
A true Mediterranean speciality, the Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica is a scarce European vagrant north of its strongholds around Spain, Portugal and the Balkans. Never quite as graceful as the Barn Swallow in flight, there are some plumage differences too that with patience can be picked out in the swirl of a mixed flock.
Kiersten’s latest photo captures some nice details to look out for. The vent and the tail are uniformly black, and look almost “stuck on” in both the air and at rest. The pale rump ranges from the light, rusty red of breeding males to the pale buff-white of juveniles – and, with practice, remains distinct from the snow white of the Housemartin.
Note also the characteristic pale collar, captured on the individual on the left of todays’ image. The pale brown cheeks extend in a band round to the patch on the nape of the neck, distinguishing it neatly from its other Hirundine cousins. Always a nice addition to the day-list, and it’s great to have another shot to post before they finally leave for sub-Saharan wintering grounds.
We’ll be bringing you as much birding news as we can over the coming weeks, so please keep reading our updates as yet another month unfolds…and if you’d like to enjoy a little of what Andalucia has to offer yourself, joining us for birdwatching trips and holidays couldn’t be easier. All the information you need is only a click away!