Barn, Barn, Barn, Barn, Barn, BANK, Barn, Barn, Barn, Barn, Barn, CLIFF, Barn, Barn, Barn, Barn, Barn, BANK, PURPLE MARTIN, Barn, Barn- there goes five Eastern Kingbirds, Bobolinks bink over head. Every year I wade through the heat of August to see this spectacle, the migration of swallows. It isn’t like the Tree Swallow migration in October where the flocks are gathered in tight swirls. These birds are scattered over the dunes with other birds heading south with them. It is hard to pick one bird for they are flying up and around, back and forth. The nice ingredient is they are all flying at or just a little above eye level. Well except the martins, they fly much higher and direct. They are just leaving. The Cliff Swallows seem to fly just a little higher and more direct as well. They may bank once or twice to show off the buffy rumps before they blast off south. They are all flying over the golden sea oats. This triggers my imagination. I am alone so I bring out my sketch book and draw.
Out on the beach the tide is high and coming in so the gulls and terns are gathered together. There are Black, Least, Caspian, Sandwich, Common, Forster’s Terns mixed in with the Royal Terns and the Black Skimmers. It is hard to tear myself away but I finally do and head off to lunch in the Bird Sanctuary in the Campground. A Worm-eating Warbler is picking food for itself behind the bird bath. What a beautiful little skulker! It takes some time to see around the leaves to get the ochre colored head with the black strips that help clinch the ID. I just have to look at the Yellow-crowned Night-heron so I finished the morning at the Amphitheater. The image is an adult Yellow-crowned flying across the deep green Amphitheater pond is an image I want to etch someday. I was treated to great views of both night-herons but the treat were the Pine Warblers that were singing as they foraged in the pines. Yes it is hot but the images of migration make it worth the wade.