Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tree Swallow RiverQuest Sunset Cruise

When I learned about this sunset cruise, I knew it was something we had to check out. We were told that at sunset thousands of tree swallows return to a certain area to sleep for the night. They fly around for a while before bedding down. They swoop and circle and dart all around which to people appears to be in random style--no particular formation, no leader, barely missing each other as they do their evening dance, though I do believe I saw a couple make slight contact, but not enough to stop them.

Getting to their location took about an hour on the river, but we were treated to many other bird sightings along the way and the taste of the life on the river. This blog will once again be mostly made up of the photos.

The other birds:

Other views from the river:

These final pictures were the reason for the trip. Sadly, this blog doesn't appear to let me post the video I took. As the swallows start appearing, you had to have binoculars (which were provided) to see them. I was a little frustrated at first when some people were saying, "Wow. Look at all of them!" Eventually I was able to see them. They came from different directions in different groups and many of them flew right over us. They do all kinds of maneuvers  or acrobatics or who knows what because to our human eyes it's just a wonder how they don't all crash into each other and we could see no rhyme or reason to the movements or we were not able to decipher their path, if there was any.

We were told to watch carefully as all of a sudden they position themselves and all at once drop down into the reeds below to rest for the night and sure enough, that is what they did. It was an interesting look at how these creatures of God have their little routine that provided us with curiosity and enjoyment.

In the pictures that look like just the sky, look for the little dots--those are the swallows.

These are the reeds they nest in.

Note all the little dots....all constantly moving and eventually grouping together before they drop down.

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