[CT Birds] Tree Swallows on Ct River

Jan Collins jgcollins at cox.net
Mon Sep 17 20:19:57 EDT 2007

Sat eve went with a group of birders on board the cruise boat out of Essex 
to watch the nightly roosting of the tree swallows on Goose Island across 
the river in Old Lyme.
Was quite spectacular.  The birds (many,many   thousands)came in from the 
east about sunset milling above the horizon in a line stretching probably a 
quarter mile.  Gradually they began closing ranks and coming closer to the 
boat which was drifting just west of the island.  Then they began swirling 
in a spiral that could easily be seen even with the naked eye, darkening the 
radar screen on the boat and looking like a mini tornado.  In waves of about 
3 or 4 groups they dropped down out of the spiral looking like very heavy 
rain, down into the phragmites on the island for the night.
Great sunset, moonrise, and birding trip!  Also good views of a bald eagle, 
northern harrier, osprey, coopers, red tail hawks and great egrets and blue 
herons along the river before the main event.


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