Sunday, September 15, 2013

Swallows return to the Charles River Peninsula

Charles River from Red-Wing Bay, Needham, MA
Swallows are making their annual late-summer appearance at the Charles River Peninsula. Northern rough-winged swallows, with their brown heads and "breet-breet" vocalizations.
Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA
They wheel around the meadow and perch high on the electric wires over the river. Today there were about a dozen. Yesterday, more than fifty.
I stood on the stump of the old shag-bark hickory at the top of the hill and watched as they flew around me. An accipiter flew high above and the swallows flew up in a cloud and surrounded it, not so much mobbing as much as letting it know they knew it was there.
Today I walked down the train tracks to the trestle so see if I could get a closer look. No luck (sun was directly behind them) but it is always a pleasure to hang near the trestle.
After a short burst last week, general migration seems to have slowed down again. Except for catbirds. Easily 25 of them arrayed around the field eating berries.

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