[CT Birds] Connecticut River Swallows

Howard Patterson howard21042 at verizon.net
Sun Sep 29 07:21:33 EDT 2013

Saturday evening I had the pleasure of viewing from boat the swallows gathering over the Connecticut River at Old Lyme. Starting about 6 p.m. the swallows (almost all Tree Swallows) gathered in ever increasing numbers, so many that to the naked eye they looked like large grey clouds in some spots (but good binoculars are needed for a decent look in the diminishing light). At dusk they spiraled down to roost on Goose Island. Just as advertised, it looked like a tornado. I estimated 250,000 in my eBird submission, but it may have been many more. I have seen reports of 300,000 to 500,000. It was a spectacular sight. I was the only birder on our boat, and the non-birders were even more impressed than I with the event.  

Good birding.

Howard Patterson
Ellicott City, MD

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