Once upon a time, there was a guy that really, really wanted to locate a Kite. Not the kind you fly. During his journey he stumbled upon a black bird with a really deep red chin and throat. This bird had light rufous underpants and a deeply forked tail. The guy did not have a clue as to what he was looking at. Later, he discovered it was a Barn Swallow. More research. This bird eats only insects and bathes in flight by skimming bodies of water. Cool, he thinks. So, he researches further.
Notes on Barn Swallows: They are only in Texas for the summer. They group up and migrate south in large flocks. They are approximately 6-7 inches tall. The white spots on their tail feathers form a distinctive white bar in flight. They do not glide, always flapping to stay in flight. Very agile fliers. They are one of seven species of Swallows in Texas. Don’t slam on the brakes to get a photo without looking in rear-view mirror first. Make apologies. Take single photo before the bird flies off and then return home disgusted. I needed a better photo for identification purposes. A site friend was able to immediately inform me that it was indeed a Barn Swallow.
I did return to the area just before dark. The bird was back and he brought a friend. A Red-Bellied Woodpecker. The bird was on the wire while the Pecker was on a Pole. The low-light photos barely show the Swallow. The Pecker shots were silhouette only. The location is the hill overlooking my neighborhood (North West Mineral Wells, Texas); photo included. It is a heavily wooded area with several large structures. Perfect for a Swallow. Lots of insects in the flora and buildings for them to setup broods. This neighborhood has a plethora of birds. They have divided up by blocks. One for Grackles, two for American Robins, one for Blue Jays (always hiding), and now I find the Barn Swallow just on the edge of their domain overlooking this “valley” and my neighborhood. Hopefully they return tomorrow.
- Aperture: ƒ/8
- Camera: X-S1
- Taken: 21 July, 2012
- Focal length: 122.6mm
- ISO: 400
- Shutter speed: 1/850s