Barn Swallows and A Northern Mockingbird

This series of photos are my recent captures of Barn Swallows and a Northern Mockingbird.  Both are residents in the Oyster Cove community around the marina.  But first (and I’ve meant to do this before!), I’m sharing photos of my ‘birding loop’ in the Oyster Cove community that I keep referencing in my posts.  I think you’ll be surprised that the variety I’ve been photographing from my ‘loop’ is just this little compact area!

My ‘birding loop’ starts here at the entrance of Oyster Cove, driving down to the end at the kayak rack and turning left.  Our community pool is to the left behind the white fence.  This is the parking lot area where I see the Killdeers running around.

Having made the left at the kayak rack, this stretch goes down past the two tennis courts on the right and ends with a small parking lot.  I turn around there and come back out to leave.  To the right in this photo behind the curb is a marshy waterway inlet where I sometimes get out and peer through the reeds to see what might be there.  Could place to see a Great Blue Heron!

The stretch in this photo is the same as the previous, showing more to the left where the community marina is located, and where Rudy our visiting Ruddy Duck hung out for a few weeks.  He’s moved on and I’ve been capturing a lone cormorant in his place.

And that’s my ‘birding loop’.  Really kinda like an “L” loop.  LOL  For only 5-10 minutes each morning and evening, I slowly roll through and enjoy the sights and sounds of so many different feathered friends, I wish I had realized it long before now!  I guess my photographing and recording of Oliver and Olivia, our missing osprey pair, from previous seasons kept me really busy.  🙂

Barn Swallows are nesting under the marina docks where they’ve attached mud nests.  They are adorable, chubby little birds and fly around the shoreline of our community, sometimes right out in front of my balcony, I could almost reach out and pet them.  🙂   They seem friendly/curious yet shy and fly very fast with aerobic flair, gobbling up insects and I think just having a marvelous, fun time.  Barn Swallows do a constant cute chitter-chatter while perched or flying.  I have yet to capture a quality flight shot…..but I’m working on it.  🙂

The first three photos were taken about an hour before sunset of a pair relaxing and soaking up the late rays.

Barn Swallows

Barn Swallows

Another morning I had quietly parked between the marina and tennis courts and was listening to the birds and scanning the water, when a flurry of noisy Barn Swallows landed on the curb at my driver’s side.  I couldn’t tell what was going on or why, when just as quickly, they were all gone but one.  She sat quietly and just looked around.

Barn Swallow

Then she got up and began picking at the little twigs, dropping the first one and picking up another.  She was looking for just the right size!  🙂  Once she found the twig in the second shot, she hopped and stopped, giving me the most adorable looks.

I then began to roll on and left her to her shopping.  I quickly sighted the Northern Mockingbird who is visible almost every morning, flying from tree to tree and singing his songs.  This time, he was on a perfect perch, busy preening his feathers.  As usual, preening shots are the prettiest so I decided to share his quick poses inbetween.

Northern Mockingbird – Striking A Pose

Finally, I wanted to share a couple shots of the moon.  The first is last night’s moon which was starting to brighten up as it was beginning to arch the sky over my head at sunset.  I didn’t quite get the detail this time on the craters and had hoped it turn out a little better.  Following it is the moon shot from a month ago on April 2nd, taken after sunset.  It was a better capture.

Our Moon Just Before Sunset – May 1, 2012

Our Moon After Sunset – April 2, 2012

I hope you enjoyed our cuties, the barn swallows, and the Vogue pose of the mockingbird.  Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your upcoming weekend!

23 thoughts on “Barn Swallows and A Northern Mockingbird

    • I got my eye on that shot too HJ! I’ve been watching our weather forecast daily all week, hoping for clear skies that night! Calling for partly cloudy for us as of tonight….hmmmm. Still best wishes for clear skies for you and me!

  1. Your bird shots are always terrific! That is just the cutest little swallow! We have lots of tree swallows here in the summer and thoroughly enjoy watching them.

    • Thank you very much Terry! They do give an great aerial show, chasing/following each other. You can’t help but feel happy seeing them happy and having so much fun. 🙂

  2. Love the middle photo of the swallows having a little chat. They are darling. Have always loved watching barn swallows swooping and soaring around water.

    • I was pretty tickled when I downloaded & saw that specific shot! It was actually pretty hard to stay focused on them and that skinny dock line so I’ll admit I had to delete most. But that’s okay, we just want one great one, right?!! 🙂 Definitely a pretty darling little bird to watch swoop & soar!

      • 🙂
        I’m monitoring bluebird and tree swallow nestboxes. The tree swallows are funny, acrobatic, beautiful shimmery blue with big eyes — and they divebomb! But experienced birders say they never actually hit anybody. Love them!

  3. Both of these birds are entertaining and you did a great job of getting the character of the birds! Thanks for sharing your bird loop. You are right, I am amazed at the variety and number of birds on this short drive. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I especially liked the barn swallow with the twig – so cute!

    This Saturday will be the largest full moon of the year. The moon’s orbit is elliptical, and it will be as close to the earth as it will get while simultaneously being full. Could make for some nice “big moon” shots.

    • Wishing you clear skies Saturday night Deb! I’ve been keeping tabs this past week on our upcoming weather forecast, don’t know why, it always changes, right?! As of tonight, they’re calling for partly cloudy for us, so I’m keeping fingers crossed for no clouds!

  5. What beautiful pictures! I’ve read that it’s rare to see barn swallows not in flight (aside from at their nest), so consider yourself lucky.

    For the prior 8 years or so, I’ve been fortunate to have a barn swallow pair return to the nest built under my front porch. I’ve enjoyed their chitter-chatter each year. Sadly this year they’ve apparently abandoned their nests. They arrived mid-March, I saw them for a few days, but have not seen them since.

    Last year a mockingbird pair nested in my backyard, it annoyingly called nearly all night. Their back again this year, and are being extremely territorial. Earlier this week they were harassing crows in the yard, and just now I saw them for the first time in the front yard harassing a feral cat near the front porch. At first I thought it might have house sparrows that drove away the barn swallows, but now it seems it was most likely the mockingbirds; I’ve no other idea why they would have left. As entertaining as it is watching the mockingbirds harrassing behavior and enjoy hearing them mock other birds calls, I really miss my barn swallows.

    Thanks for sharing your photos!

    • Very sorry to hear your barn swallow pair have disappeared. When we have nature friends living close to us during a season year after year and are seen/heard daily, they become ‘part of the family’! Unfortunately, the mockingbird can be a meanie and force others out of ‘his’ territory. I’ve been watching this season’s mockingbird off my balcony trying to rid the robins but the robins aren’t budging. So they all fly at each other to move the other, and so on. No actually fighting so that is good. Even the red-wing blackbird isn’t leaving his little nesting area around the marshy grass, so our mockingbird has his day filled with some chasing and mocking, lol.

      I was photographing our barn swallows about week ago around our marina as they busily gather their nesting materials. They are definitely adorable little birds. I’ve been trying to catch them in flight, that is definitely a challenge! 🙂

      Thank you for your comments and for stopping by, Paul!

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