Common Swifts in South Africa
Apus apus pekinensis


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These pictures were taken in the West Coast National Park, South Africa, during a large movement south. Most of these birds, on close examination, were pale to medium brown on the upperparts. Some birds look darker and may be nominate apus in bright sunlight. Some look remarkably like photos of vagrant Pallid Swifts in Northern Europe - however, Pallid Swift is a mega rarity in South Africa.

Some useful images of Pallid Swifts by Charlie Moores in Dubai can be found here. Whereas some of these birds with scaly underparts are unambiguously Pallid Swifts, others have a resemblance to some of the birds pictured below.


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 Common Swifts

    January 19, 2005

    pekinensis, uppersides

 Common Swifts

    January 19, 2005

    pekinensis, undersides

 Common Swift

    January 27, 2005

    nominate apus

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