Birding UK and Ireland Forum  

Go Back   Birding UK and Ireland Forum > Ask a Question > What is that Bird?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-18, 09:31 AM
Hatchling Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 4
Default Birds of prey over London

Hi, I live in East/Central London and for the last few weeks there are about 6-8 birds constantly circling the area. I'm pretty sure they're some kind of bird of prey - they have the shape, and do lots of swooping and I'm a keen BOP spotter. I'm pretty sure they're juvenile birds, hence why they are all flying together.

They look if anything like large swallows - very elegant wings and quite a sleek forked tail, and if anything I'd suggest they resemble hobbies, but they circle quite a long way up - higher than I would expect for hobbies - plus I wouldn't have said this is their natural habitat although I have seen hobbies in the parks further out of the city.

Note that I think they're juvenile birds that look like they're practising hunting with each other, this would explain why they're flying together rather than individuals.

The most likely options in London would be buzzard (but wouldn't expect to see buzzards this central), sparrow hawks, kestrel or maybe hobby.


Anyone got any suggestions?

Sorry no pictures, but I don't have a camera good enough to get any shots from the distance.

Last edited by SilverFox; 01-06-18 at 09:53 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-18, 12:09 PM
astafjevs's Avatar
Regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Near Bristol
Posts: 3,102
Blog Entries: 26
Default

Parakeets?
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-18, 12:31 PM
Hatchling Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks for the suggestion - but no we get loads of those around which I'm quite familiar with.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-18, 01:16 PM
hawkeye's Avatar
Regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Knaresborough N. Yorkshire
Posts: 390
Default

They sound more like Swifts
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-18, 02:06 PM
Hatchling Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 4
Default

yeah but they look quite a bit bigger
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-18, 04:06 PM
hawkeye's Avatar
Regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Knaresborough N. Yorkshire
Posts: 390
Default

I think it may be an optical illusion sometimes if the atmosphere is hot or misty
it can make things look bigger than they actually are, and to be fair
Swifts are quite a big bird with very long wings,and the way you
described it, it was spot on for Swift. falcons have long wings, but broad
it may be one of them things that you will always have a doubt.
the joys of birding.Hope that's helped you.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-18, 09:10 PM
Tony F's Avatar
Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: West Lancs
Posts: 1,634
Default

I guess if you've considered Buzzard then these must be sizeable birds. Could they be Red Kites? Size and a noticeably forked tail points in that direction...

Tony
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-18, 12:19 PM
hawkeye's Avatar
Regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Knaresborough N. Yorkshire
Posts: 390
Default

I just noticed you said you though they were young birds. And by your comments
you saw them in april/may time. I can tell you it would not be young of
any bird of prey, as that far to early for youngsters to be on the wing.
I am still convinced they will be swifts, as they fly in groups, and are very fast on the wing
I am sure it will not be Kite, as they have broad wings and a span of four feet
and you would noticed a red colour, try to get a picture even on your phone.
When you first posted i would have said Parakeet like Astra said, but they have long tails.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-18, 08:47 AM
Hatchling Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks everyone - really appreciate it. I've come to the conclusion that they must indeed be swifts.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT. The time now is 08:03 PM.