Whilst undertaking cryptic bird monitoring for Birds New Zealand & Community Waitakere at Orangihina in Te Atatu, Auckland yesterday, myself & two others sighted what is very likely a Fork Tailed Swift.
At 9.15am, we spotted a swift like bird soaring 10 metres above us with six Welcome Swallows. The swift was approx at least 25% larger in body size than the Welcome Swallows, had longer scimitar shaped wings & a long forked tail. The color was all dark black & there appeared to be mottled dark grey feathers on its breast. There were no white feathers on its throat & the forked tailed discounted it being a White Throated Needletail.
We only saw the bird for approx 6 seconds or so before it flew quickly over the saltmarsh in a northerly direction towards Hobsonville. Unfortunately we have no photos, but I am confident that we saw a Fork Tailed Swift & I will be submitting a UBR (Unusual Bird Report) to the Birds New Zealand. Other birds seen during our visit included one Australasian Bittern/Matuku in flight & at least two Fernbird.
Please look out for swifts if you are in the Auckland & Northland regions.
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