Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Swallows (Hirondelles)

     The colours of fall are starting to manifest themselves more each passing day, and glorious though they are, they presage the winter ahead.

     Our swallows have all departed now, winging their way south to insect-laden areas of Central and South America, where they will remain until their migratory urges impel them to head north again next spring.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopterix serripennis

American Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

Purple Martin Progne subis

Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor

     The following poem, which I remember from the distant days of my childhood studying English literature, evokes the spirit of migration, but we remain secure in the knowledge that the swallows will return just as surely as spring will awaken from winter's icy grip. May we live to see them again.

The Last Swallow

The robin whistles again. Day's arches narrow.
Tender and quiet skies lighten the withering flowers.
The dark of winter must come.....But that tiny arrow,
Circuiting high in the blue - the year's last swallow
Knows where the coast of far mysterious sun-wild Africa lours.
                                                                          WALTER DE LA MER

David M. Gascoigne,
David M. Gascoigne,

I'm a life long birder. My interests are birds, nature, reading, books, outdoors, travel, food and wine.


  1. Hello David,
    Yes that time of year is here again. The Fall is beautiful with all the splendid coulors but indeed it is also a reminder that summer is over. Your captures of the Swallows are so wonderful and more the different types of birds I did not know of. The poem is indeed wonderful.

    I also want to thank you for your very kind remarks on my latest blog about the Kingfishers.

  2. Bonjour cher ami,

    Une très jolie publication qui me ramène à mon enfance... Les hirondelles ! Mon grand-père savait me raconter la vie et notamment celle des hirondelles, de la magie et des énigmes de la migration. Je me souviens des moments où il me portait afin d'observer les petits dans les nids sans rien toucher. Des images me reviennent...
    Vos photos sont extraordinaires. Les couleurs de l'automne s'installent. Chez moi, les arbres commencent aussi à se colorer. C'est très beau et cependant je n'aime pas cette période de l'année où les jours raccourcissent et se refroidissent.
    J'aime le printemps, la renaissance et la fraîcheur et la délicatesse des verts semblables à des bonbons acidulés.
    Je viens de passer un très agréable moment en votre compagnie.

    Gros bisous ♡

  3. I love Swallows again again again. Smashing images David.

  4. Nice pictures and great captures. .have a great day..

  5. El otoño es la mejor estación para disfrutar de la naturaleza, los paisajes se visten de un colorido impresionante y los animales entran en una actividad frenética para prepararse para el duro invierno. Me encanta el otoño!
    Has hecho un bonito reportaje de las golondrinas David, me ha gustado mucho. Un abrazo desde España.

  6. Beautiful shots as always David, that last Swallow is something special

  7. The colours are gorgeous! I;m a bit sad that the swallows are leaving soon, though!

  8. Fantastic collection David,love the tree Swallow lovely rich blue.

  9. Hello David,
    Nice shots. Wonderful the colors of the autumn leaves.
    Nice shots of the swallows.

    Best regards,

  10. Kalimera from Skiathos Airport. Yes the swallows and swifts have left here too. Now I must join them and fly to the joys of a Lancashire autumn. Sadly our autumn colours can never match those of your own.

  11. Beautiful pictures of the colours of fall, David. You show here that the Swallow isn't just a Swallow, but one of many species. The tree Swallow is superbly coloured.
    Gr Jan W

  12. "...mysterious sun wild Africa...." a great line but presumably Canadian swallows aren't going there!

  13. Dearest David,
    What outstanding photos of the swallows that will once more make such a lengthy journey to areas where food will be plenty and temperatures milder.
    Amazing how much fall color you already have in your region. Here nature is behind but we will be getting there in a few months.

  14. Oh the swallows are just wonderful. A beautiful ID textbook too ... I will bookmark this post ... More fun to look at than my bird book! Gorgeous Fall colors in your area too!

  15. Love that first shot.

    Of course, we are at the other end of the year - so, spring is springing here.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  16. C'est un beau rassemblement ! On attend déjà leur retour en France.

  17. Hello David,
    autumn has indeed begun and beautiful colors have you been immortalized. Picture 2 and 3 are also very beautiful. And what you saw many swallows !!! Really wonderful to see so many swallows in a row sit :-)
    A very nice blog.

  18. Wonderful photos! I love autumn colours. We woke up to temps below 0 C this morning.

  19. Beautiful pictures of swallows. Congratulations :-) Warm greetings!


Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the land on which we are situated are the lands traditionally used by the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral People. We also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws, and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today. We are all treaty people with a responsibility to honour all our relations.