I waited all summer …

… for a glimpse of a White-throated Needletail (aka Spine-tailed Swift).

These birds are occasional visitors during the hotter months, usually seen travelling ahead of storm fronts in search of flying insects. It came as somewhat of a surprise to spot two this morning at the Rise and Shine, against a bright blue sky. One of the birds, the one pictured below behind a veil of eucalypt foliage, almost pulled up over head. Unfortunately I was only able to capture a couple of acceptable shots.


White-throated Needletail, Rise and Shine, 19th March 2015.


Shaped like jet-fighters, these birds can travel vast distances at extraordinary speeds …


This one almost braked to a stop … alas it was partly obscured by leaves in this photograph.

8 responses to “I waited all summer …

  1. Great photos Geoff, they’re difficult subjects. I saw a small flock of them over our place about 3 mornings ago, maybe 6 individuals. So possibly the same group?

    • That’s good to hear Andrew – they travel such distances that we’ll never know … might be our last glimpses until next summer.
      Cheers, geoff

  2. I saw a small flock (6 or so) of them over my place on Norwood Hill this evening! Third time I’ve noticed them here this summer on stormy evenings … Great photos!

  3. You did well getting photos of them.

    Unfortunately I haven’t spotted any this year let alone photograph them.

  4. Thanks for the photos Geoff – what a pity tomorrow ducks and other water birds will be shot as a sport!

  5. I’ve been trying to photograph these birds for a while now and only have come away with poor quality distance shots, mostly because of their speed and circling habits. I’m impressed with your photos. I remember reading about these extraordinary birds years ago and how they very rarely come to roost, usually only when nesting. Apparently they can actually sleep high up in thermals and air currents!
    Fantastic shots Geoff!

    • Thanks Craig – they are a challenging bird to photograph … I’m still seeking a cracker shot!
      Cheers, geoff

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