Most of us have similar daily routines. Get up, eat, work, eat, work some more, go home, eat again, sleep – repeat the next day. Most creatures are just like us, except their work usually involves mostly eating (or hunting) and they may have a bit more pressure to survive their exposure to the elements and constant stalking by predators.
We’ve been trying to locate the roosting spot for several thousand of our closest friends, Tree Swallows. They’re fueling up for migration back to their northern homes and we’ve been seeing large volumes of them at the local lake at sunset. We haven’t seen the classic clouds or “tornado” of birds forming but it’s been fun to stand on a boat dock jutting out into the lake and watch them feed as the sun goes down. At times, I’ve had birds flying within arm’s reach on either side. The swallows probably number in the tens of thousands.
Here are a few pictures of a recent evening along the lake shore.
A Royal Tern makes his last passes of the day over the lake’s surface hoping to find a meal before heading to his roost.
Cattle Egrets fly low near the shore as the final rays of the sun bathe the tops of cattails in golden light.
Cypress trees make good cover for large groups of White Ibis for the night. This flock has a fair number of young birds, distinguished by their gray, brown and white mottled appearance.
The shoreline is busy with Yellow-rumped Warblers doing their flycatcher imitation by darting out from perches to snag insects in the air.
Tree Swallows begin to appear over the lake’s surface about an hour before sunset and feed on their way to the roost.
As the sun disappears behind evening clouds, the swallows are still appearing in waves and darkness forces us to retreat as another day comes to a close.
We still haven’t located a central roosting spot and the swallows may actually be scattering out over a wide area of shoreline to roost among the reeds and cattails. Hopefully, we’ll confirm that before they disappear north for another year.
At the end of the day, we enjoyed our evening watching the birds completing their routines in preparation for nightfall. Now, we need to do the same!
Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!
Linking to Stewart’s “Wild Bird Wednesday”. See more birds from around the world at Paying ReadyAttention for