[CT Birds] Lower Housatonic River Barn Swallow flight

charles barnard jr chbarnjr at gmail.com
Fri Aug 10 21:02:16 EDT 2012

This evening, between 6:50pm and 8:06pm, 851 Barn Swallows were counted
individually as they came downriver towards the Merritt Parkway/Wilbur
Cross Parkway bridge which spans the Housatonic between northern Stratford
and Milford.  The birds came in groups of 15 to 70.  Interestingly,
although Barn Swallows frequently nest under bridges, not one bird flew
either under or over the bridge to continue downriver. They all diverted to
the western bank of the river and crossed to go southward away from the
bridge.  Not one other swallow species was observed among all these Barn

It was a puny number of Barn Swallows compared to the huge numbers
estimated along the lower Connecticut River, but it was still an
interesting flight to watch.  There were also at least 450 Common Grackles
which went to roost for the night in the reed beds upriver from the bridge.

Charlie Barnard Jr.

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