More Gathering of the Swallows

Tree Swallow activity continues to grow. This morning we were driving north from the southern end of the Island when I spotted a large dark area on the road ahead. We pulled over and looked at the 2000+ Tree Swallows sitting in the road with probably as many or even more in the shrubs and fields next to the road. (Note: I’m not all that good at estimating these things. The consensus estimate was about 2500 birds sitting in the road.) This is what I saw that made me stop and grab the camera.

This what was happening next to the road.

Normally we would have taken photographs, taken in the spectacle and then driven slowly forward to disperse the birds. They take to the air and swoop right back in after you pass. But several vehicles approached from the north and people were getting out to look, take pictures, stand in awe, show the kids…. The cars eventually stretched all the way back to turn you see in the distance. So we waited until the birds and spectators eventually thinned out before moving on. It was a 45 minute wait but no one wanted to ruin the moment for the other people. This is what the first few people got to see.

Why were the birds in the road? We often see them sitting in the sand or dunes on the beach so they seem to like a sunny open spot. A nor’easter was just pulling away this morning and the winds were pretty strong. Maybe they just didn’t want to fight them. Whatever the reason, they certainly stopped traffic!

3 thoughts on “More Gathering of the Swallows

  1. What a sight! Maybe they were just enjoying the heat of the asphalt? We saw a similar impressive sight at dusk in San Antonio of starlings. It is so regular and predictable that our hosts announced that, as dusk was approaching, we should head for this spot they knew….a plaza parking lot – and sure enough – this huge gathering of noisy birds appeared. They were everywhere!: rooftops, telephone wires……..!


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