I admittedly have a soft spot for Swallows, especially Barn Swallows. I lose myself watching the graceful swooping flight of any Swallow over water as they relentlessly hunt for flying insects, and effortlessly drink and bathe from the air. Their iridescence and colouring is a work of art (thanks, Ma Nature!), and their melange of chattering, chirping, rattling, and/or twittering is so soothing to listen to in the summer.
Nesting Cliff Swallows under a bridge are a challenge to photograph as the parents fly in so quickly to feed the babies in a mud nest:
This baby below provides a better aim with its wide gaping mouth:
A fledged baby Cliff Swallow:
The railings of the boardwalk were dripping with more baby swallows, including an inquisitive Bank Swallow:
But it's always the Barn Swallows who steal my heart:
This young Barn Swallow won me over as he checked me out, almost as if begging for food!
...it was not too pleased with me for being empty-handed!
Then the preening began...
...I had no idea that they had white tail spots!
Such an adorable baby!
But shortly we will see them congregating in huge numbers on fences and wires as part of their staging mode before migration, and just like that, they're suddenly gone, until we meet up again next year!