Friday, August 13, 2010

Thousands of swallows

In the old days people (Linnaeus included!) believed that swallows fly into the mud and pass the winter hibernating like frogs. Of course, each evening before migrating south, they disappeared into the reeds, and one day they were all gone before sunrise, so people thought that they stayed there through the winter months.

Yesterday I saw thousands of swallows disappearing into the reeds at dawn. At a certain moment none of them was in the air anymore. All gone in a second.

I joined my colleagues at bird ringing last evening. We caught 83 swallows, mostly young, that are now wearing a silver ring, telling the scientists, if ever caught again, a lot about swallow migration. Many of those will never reach their southern destination (probably somewhere in the South Africa), as they will be killed by birds of prey or people, or they will perish due to lack of food, water, disease or just anything else. It is not easy to be a bird.

Later that evening when I came home, I set up the telescope again, this time towards the south-western horizon. Jupiter was bright up in the sky and I could see Jupiter's four moons, too. All traveling very fast across the sky. An amazing sight!

And I wonder if my wishes will come true until the next 12th August... :)

Karma for today: Discover that good is good enough.


paperseed said...

I hope your wishes do come true, Pina. This post reminds me that if you ever come to Portland, I think you'd really like seeing the Vaux Swifts (

Feronia said...

Must've been a beautiful sight... Hope your wishes come true, Pina :)

Pina said...

Thank you! :)