Monday, June 17, 2013

How Swift Were the Swifts!

On Saturday while trying to see the Wood Duck, I ran into Margie M. When the duck didn't appear, we decided to enjoy the sunshine and have a walk around Kent's Pond. No sooner were we in the trail when Margie was able to muster up this little brown bird. I was able to see it through my binoculars better than with the camera. At first I thought it was a Swamp Sparrow because of the bright reddish color on its head. It did appear to have a lighter line above the eye. The more I looked, the more I doubted myself, so I struggled to get a picture through the branches. This is it. It is not a Swamp Sparrow. However, the mystery remains - what is it? Then, the bird was gone.

We sauntered on around the pond stopping to enjoy the ducklings along the way. I was taking pictures of the ducklings in the grass and water's edge. We lingered for a while to enjoy the scene, when out of the blue, two stocky, strong-flying birds appeared flying in over the east end of the pond. I looked and looked. The flight was not familiar to me. They were coming fast, and in an effort to determine what they were, I got off one shot. This is it!

Trying to see what was on my LCD screen in the bright sunlight, was not easy. Thinking common birds, I figured this must be starlings that flew funny. It wasn't until Sunday when I downloaded my pictures that I realized these birds were not starlings at all; they were Chimney Swifts!

They were powerful flyers and vanished from our sight within seconds. Where did they come from? Where did they go? It is these amazing, unpredictable moments in birding that provide intermittent reinforcement that keeps me on the edge of anticipation that anything could happen at any minute. Sometimes.... it does!

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