[CT Birds] Watching Swallows

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Tue Apr 30 21:39:17 EDT 2013

I spent some time this morning watching the swallows at the Stevenson Dam where Rt 34 crosses the Housatonic River from Oxford to Monroe.  I was on the Monroe side, in the parking lot next to the power station.  From there you can look up (with a scope) and see where Cliff Swallows nest under the bridge.  They were still early in the nest building process so there wasn't much to see up there yet.  There was a small mud puddle in the parking area, and of course Cave Swallow nests are made with mud.  A bunch of them would swirl through the air over the puddle, not quite stopping, until the first one took the lead and landed.  Then another half dozen would join it around the puddle, picking at the mud.  Almost every one held its wings straight up the whole time, not steady but quivering.  It made me wish I had a video camera.  When they got a load of mud in and on their beaks they would fly off to do some home building.

I also got to watch some Northern Rough-winged Swallows visiting nests on the dam.  Way down low on the far side I could see a few ends of small pipes sticking out horizontally from the concrete of the dam.  Each of them had swallows visiting them and disappearing inside, including one where two swallows went in together.  The pipes really didn't look big enough to turn around in, or to let one bird past the other.

Other than that the best bird of the day was a Green Heron at Osbornedale State Park in Derby.

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

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