Cliff Swallows at Col. Sam Smith Park: May 27, 2022

I know a little town in northern Ontario where Cliff Swallows build their elegant jug-shaped “pottery” nests directly over the front door of the lone restaurant. Each year, rather than tear down the nests, the proprietor puts up a sign requesting entrance through a side door.

On a day where midges by the lake were just as thick as the fog, we saw a small Cliff Swallow Colony:

Cliff Swallows
Cliff Swallows

and a puddle from which mud and nesting materials were being taken.

Cliff Swallows

I’m told that female Cliff Swallows keep their wings aloft on the ground in order to prevent unwanted males from attempting to mate with them.

Cliff Swallows
Cliff Swallows
Cliff Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Cliff Swallows

Other birds:

Red-necked Grebe
Song Sparrow
Ring-billed Gull
Mallard (male)
Barn Swallow
Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Yellow Warbler
Brown-headed Cowbirds (male)
Common Tern
American Robin
Common Tern tail
juvenile Europe Starling
Northern Cardinal (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird

Although we didn’t see Whimbrels today, ornithologists at Whimbrel Point told us that the following shorebirds had flown past:

Semipalmated Plover (photo: national audubon society)
Red Knot (photo: audubon field guide)
Short-billed Dowitcher (photo: audubon society)
Sanderling (photo: audubon field guide)
Black-bellied Plover (photo: audubon field guide)

Today’s group:


That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees

                        In some melodious plot

         Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

                Singest of summer in full-throated ease. – John Keats

Miles Hearn

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