Hirundo rustica revisits Landour at 7000 ft
Like summer visitors on the hillside, barn swallows descended on me in troves, unannounced, one fine morning. Then as swiftly (pardon the pun), they shot up, flew past a corner, looped around a tree or two, took a nose dive, twisted and turned and swung by again fleetingly. I stood rooted to my spot for a good few minutes, hypnotized by their acrobatics in the sky. What an air show…and a pain in the neck.
I noticed the swallows didn’t stay together like, say, white-throated laughing thrushes do, instead, they did their own thing, taking random flight paths “tweet-tweeting” without seeming to take a break. Almost like they had left their kids at home alone and needed to get back soon. It is the breeding season. Landour town shops already have swallow-nesting inside.
If there was a pattern to the swallows’ flight, I didn’t get it. It was impossible to stay focused on one bird continuously, let alone a flock. What I was watching was, in fact, nothing but a feeding frenzy. Summer bugs are out as well and the dives and swoops were directed by where the bugs were. Swallows catch them in mid-flight making a competitive reality TV game show look like child play. Not to be left behind, I zipped in and out with a camera and started randomly taking shots of swallows. 50+ blurs-in-the-sky has been promptly deposited in the trash. The rest I’m sharing with you.
Read more about Swallows, Swifts via eden.uktv: https://eden.uktv.co.uk/animals/birds/article/swifts-and-swallows/
via BBC Nature: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/22527420