On 19th June 1981, R. Waiden was on the deck of the Shell BT gas- platform on the Leman Bank at 53°06'N 02°12'E, about 45 km off Happisburgh, Norfolk, when a bird attempted to land on his shoulder. It then flew past him and clung to a wall on the rig. He caught the exhausted migrant at about 13.30 GMT, and sent it ashore on the next helicopter flight for release, as caring rig-workers often do. At 19.30 GMT, the helicopter arrived at Beccles Heliport in Suffolk, where I work. Mrs S. Irons rang me from the passenger terminal to say she had just been handed a swift which seemed unable to fly; knowing I was a birdwatcher, she asked if I could help. To my astonishment, the bird lying on her cardigan was indeed a swift, but with a startling white rump...

 
Volume: 
Issue 2
Start Page: 
43
Display Image: 

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