John Pilkington's picture


Observed: 20th July 2013 By: John PilkingtonJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in Birds

About 12 Swallows "hunting" at low level over open heathland and resting on fence wire. Seen in detail through binoculars whilst resting at about 50m distance, so my camera not up to getting a decent picture.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture


Well John
Assuming you know the difference tween a swift and a barn swallow, I HAVE to agree.
I am REALLY pleased to see a post without a photo but with an adequate description.
You deserve 20 agreements - shall we take bets - you and I?
Brilliant, do more - DEFY convention!

John Pilkington's picture


Hi Derek,

Thanks for your "vote of confidence"; history suggests that few souls see the non-photographic entries, so I won't hold my breath whilst we wait for any more, let alone 20, agreements. :-)


dejayM's picture


I resorted to putting a black picture up to tickle a few fancies.
But I see Ray has agreed, that's a good start!

Ray Turner's picture

Description Only

I have banged the description only drum on a number of occasions. My route into iSpot was via the Open University’s Neighbourhood Nature course (sadly now defunct) where it was emphasised quite heavily a camera was not necessary.

It would be churlish of me were I not to agree given a reasonable description. John’s description is not necessarily diagnostic but on the assumption, as you point out dejay, he knows what a Swallow looks like I think this is good enough. One measure I often use to see if the description works is to plug it into the RSPB’s Bird Identifier and see what pops out.

Of course there will be a few pedants who will insist that some rare continental species that has only once accidently been blown to our shores 150 years ago cannot be ruled out. They will be right of course but that’s what you get with a site that attempts to be all things to all people. Thus I make something anathema to science, a value judgment.

End of diatribe ;-)