Bank Swallow Colony: May 2021

For parts of several winters I had the perfect job for a nature enthusiast. A cruise ship naturalist in the Antarctic region. As such, I stood near bird and seal colonies for hours answering questions from tourists.

Elephant Seal colonies:

Moulting Elephant Seals
Young Elephant Seal Jousting

Shag (Cormorant) colonies:

Blue-eyed Shags at the nest

Gentoo Penguin colonies:

Gentoos with chicks
Gentoos

Chinstrap Penguin colonies:

Chinstrap colony
More Chinstraps

Adelie Penguin colonies:

Adelie Penguins scanning the sea for Leopard Seals
Adelies

King Penguin colonies:

King Penguins
King Penguins

Skua colonies:

Skuas
Skua chick

and Giant Petrel colonies:

Giant Petrel with chick
Giant Petrels and chick.

MYSTERY BIRD

I will identify it at the end of the post.

I headed out early this morning to have a look at a Bank Swallow colony dug into the Scarborough Bluffs:

Up until today, here was my best Bank Swallow photo:

Bank Swallow

I had better luck today!

Bank Swallow
Bank Swallow
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallow
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallow
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallow
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallow
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallows
Bank Swallow
Bank Swallow
Bank Swallow
Bank Swallows

MYSTERY BIRD

The dull yellow-olive and conspicuous wing bars make this a female American Goldfinch.

American Goldfinch (female)

NATURE POETRY

Upon the Swallow by John Bunyan

This pretty bird, O! how she flies and sings,
But could she do so if she had not wings?
Her wings bespeak my faith, her songs my peace;
When I believe and sing my doubtings cease.

Miles Hearn

5 thoughts on “Bank Swallow Colony: May 2021

  1. Pam Stevens

    Those Bank Swallows posed very nicely for you, Miles. They seemed very busy with their home renovations!

    Reply
  2. Catherine Gautry

    Thank you very much for this virtual trip to Antarctica. No doubt you must have loved your job as a cruise ship naturalist! It is so nice to see these bank swallows going about their business in their natural, undisturbed environment. Wonderful pictures as always:-)

    Reply
  3. Maria Pedersen

    What an interesting life you lead. Penguins are so beautiful and the bank swallows so endearing.

    Reply
  4. Debi

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Would love to be on one of those journeys.
    The banks swallows are also amazing. Thanks for showing these beautiful inventive little birds.

    Reply
  5. Lisa Volkov

    Wow! What incredible pictures! Thank you so much for sharing Antarctica with us, Miles. It’s a place I would love to experience, but that is unlikely to happen, given the price (I found out what it is because of a group trip outfit I always check out). I am far more likely to get to The Bluffs again, someday, and I love them! The pictures you give us here of the Barn Swallows are absolutely fantastic. In once instance, I wondered: Were they mating or fighting? (Eighth one down of today’s pictures.) Was one of them dead? I would have thought they were mating, if I didn’t see another one peering out of the “hole”.
    Thank you so much, Miles!

    Reply

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