In the middle of May, I climbed to the bottom of the eastern Bluffs and walked along the beach until I came to the many holes which make up the Bank Swallow colony here.
Two months later there are fewer birds but it is still a busy place. By the middle of August, most will be on their way to their winter homes in South America.
The colony reminds me of tenement apartments in a big city.
I will identify it at the end of the post.
Mourning Cloak Butterfly
One our most vividly-coloured birds – Scarlet Tanager.
Of a work mysterious
Nature has performed for us.
Hark! the honey-bee’s low hum
Tells us that the summer’s come! – Frank Dempster Sherman (1860–1916)
Just superb Photography. Would make a wonderful article in the National Geographic magazine. Lots of questions re bank swallows could be addressed. Thanks Miles
I got the mystery bird! It really is unforgettable.
The Bank Swallow dwelling situation also makes me think of Pueblos, the adobe homes of Indian people built under cliffs in the American southwest. I sure hope I am not being offensive here, though perhaps I am inaccurate regarding the specific details in making the association. The fact that it was suggested to me is a tribute to the ingenuity exercised by both bird and human insofar as cliff-living is concerned.
It’s a mystery to me how each swallow recognizes its special niche in the cliff — no signs, no room numbers.