Terror from the skies

July 9, 2010

While it might sound a little dramatic, it’s still true – on my Wednesday visit to Huntley Meadows, I was under attack. An aerial attack, to be specific.

My typical scan of the park began to turn into something else when I reached the main overlook. Glancing upward I noticed swallows circling. Without a second’s delay, one turned toward me from about 50 feet up and dove DIRECTLY for my head. Then another. And another. And another.

Beginning to realize that this would continue to happen for a few minutes, I took aim with my camera and tried to get a shot of an incoming attack. That failed for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it’s difficult to focus on a fast-moving bird moving on one axis toward you. And as a second factor, any time I took aim at one bird, I guessed the wrong one. Another bird was usually closing in from a different direction.

The fascinating part to me was the sound. Imagine a sword swinging six inches over your head.

Even though I dropped to my knees, they still came.

The birds were the same type of swallow photographed at the end of this earlier post.

After a few minutes I retreated and then came back from a different direction. Once again, the same routine occurred.

I’m not sure if they were protecting nearby young, but it was definitely an interesting observation.

Elsewhere in the park, the water is continuing to recede. The deer that I observed last time were back, except this time they were cutting a path through the middle of the wetlands.

Beneath the main observation area, the water is limited to a few channels that had been the deepest areas. A few creatures, including a snapping turtle and a muskrat, took off down this path to navigate towards deeper areas.

Overall, a very peculiar visit. I’ll have to visit again soon and see if the bird behavior repeats. I wish I would have had my video camera.

There is also the possibility of rain this weekend, so we’ll see if that does anything to turn around this dry spell.

One Response to “Terror from the skies”

  1. Renee Says:

    Neat pics!

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