Look What I Stumbled Upon!

This afternoon I was offered a real treasure. While circling the property, I came upon Barn Swallow chicks all lined up on a fence wire. They were waiting for their parents to swoop in and feed them. I didn’t have the camera power to get great shots, but you will get the idea. They new fledglings were preciously patient as they preened their new feathers and learned how to scratch their head and still remain upright on the thin wire. That is, until they saw their parent flying in. Then they fluttered their wings and opened their mouths. Soaring in with great precision, still on wing-beats, the parents fed them and flew off.

At first, I just saw a few birds on the wire and hoped I would get close enough to see what type they were. But, when I moved to close (which was a good ways away) they flew off.

Then I noticed another line of similar birds, a bit farther down the fence. There are always adult Barn Swallows flying over the pasture as I ride around on the golf cart. The cart scares up insects and the swallows flit around napping them. Soon I realized that the adult birds were swooping in towards the birds on the wire, and then knew that those were newly fledged chicks.

This next photo shows a parent bird (center) flying off after having delivered a meal to one of the chicks on the left (note that the chick on the post isn’t showing interest in that adult because it wasn’t her parent.)

Everything was quite far for me to see, especially since I was looking at the back side of a camera much of the time, but I believe that in this next photo, a parent bird (left most) has quickly landed to feed the chicks.

To me, the best shot, not from a photographic quality but from a composition perspective, is the next one. The chicks are preparing for the drive-by meal, but the one on the left obviously belongs to different parents and is patiently waiting for the right adult to arrive.

The rest of the images are the only other presentable shots, but add to the general story of what I observed.

Most curious is that while I was sitting in the golf cart in the middle of a 20 acre field, I heard a buzzing sound. I figured it was a horse fly, perhaps (and preferably) a bee. But, no. A ruby throated hummingbird flew directly in front of my face – just a mere 18 inches or so – and remained hovering for about twenty seconds. The hummingbirds we feed on the patio will come even closer, but they are arriving to a feeder full of nectar that we offer. It was strange to be in such an open space and experience that little interaction, but the photos below might explain. The clover is in bloom and I have seen hummers taking nectar from the blossoms just like this butterfly was doing. Perhaps she was just curious why I might be sitting for so long in her pasture.

Have a wonderful day.

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