Friday, 6 May 2011


Does anyone have experience with transitivia Swallows? This bird (right birt in top image) stood out a mile from the other swallows. The underside was the same colour as a male cantilans subalp? is this within the range of normal rustica swallow? any comments. (the images at this size are not the best!)

Oh.. also one of these too

and four cuckoos
and a Blue-headed Wagtail

Also 16 Spot flys, 50 Sedge Warblers, 40 Willow Warblers, Grasshopper Warbler, 40 Whitethroats 40 Whimbrel, Ring Ouzel and Redstart amongst other commoner migrants


  1. Wow, what a day Steve. There was a good feel on the Orme too. Interesting article on Dominic Mitchell's site last month about rufous toned Swallows-
    Interesting bird!

  2. Not too sure steve, looks a bit pale. Was the inner underwing coloured too?

  3. This rufous-washed Swallow is indeed similar to the bird I had on the Isle of Wight in April. I hadn't seen one in Britain as obvious as this before in more than 35 years' birding, so they can't be common. But that said, with further research and through talking to others, it seems such individuals crop up every year in west European Swallow populations - much as I would like it to be otherwise, transitiva doesn't seem to be a very likely option at all (particularly bearing in mind that this Near East taxon is not yet confirmed in Britain).

  4. Thanks For the comments. I looked at your site last night Dominic and came to the conclusion that H.r.t was unlikely, but I thought the birds was different and interesting enough to post on here and make folk aware of the variation within Barn Swallow. As with you I have never seen such a bird in 30 Years of birding and it is likely I may never see another!