Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

When the Swallows Come Back…


This is the time of year when the swallows come back to Capistrano. The Mission San Juan Capistrano has been a destination for a migration of cliff swallows since the early 1800s.

These swallows winter in Argentina and then migrate north about 6000 miles to California or even farther, but the Mission San Juan Capistrano being the tallest building around that area in those early days, was a destination for the swallows who were looking for a place to make their mud nests.

When I was in Mexico in February of 2007, I saw these swallows sitting on the overhead wires. I’m not sure if they are the cliff swallows that were enroute to California (the timing would have been right) or if they are barn swallows. They look very similar, and of course it was dark when I took these pictures.

The sidewalk below, was a dangerous place to walk, as I found out when I reached my rented bungalow and took off my blue velour jacket which was now covered with whitish splats. I seem to remember having to wash my hair too.

But look at these guys! They’re all facing the same way, except one or two. There is always one who travels to a different drum (second wire down).  I see another one on the bottom wire. Just above him is a little guy who was trying to tell him to turn around, and nearly lost his balance himself.

But the most unlucky fellow was the owner of this vehicle who had made the mistake of parking under the wires. Thankfully, it’s not mine.

He’d be looking for a car wash in the morning.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

34 thoughts on “When the Swallows Come Back…

  1. Amazing creatures, birds. How do they all get so in tune with each other and the earth. If only people could be like minded about the important stuff. Not about decorating passing pedestrians and parked vehicles. Have a great week Anneli. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love watching birds. Of course, with this flock you would need a hardy umbrella, but still. I find it amazing how a large migrating flock will move as if they are a single entity, swirling around each other but maintaining their focus. Great photos, Anneli.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The birds who make nests from mud come back every year, hatching their chicks under the eves of three tall grain silos. Fun to watch their swooping as they feed the little ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s remarkable that birds know when to begin their migration.
    And they provide us with more than one reason to look to the skies 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How lovely to be part of that group.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Amazing to see the quantity of those birds, Anneli, and that poor car. Great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Enough guano on the car to make fertilizer!


  8. This is a very large flock. I love the sound of them to let us know we are back, Summer is around the corner. Fortunately we don´t get so many here, so we don´t need an umbrella. Very good pictures! I´ve never see so many in one spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, what a pooey mess! 😞

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful photo, Anneli. I love the swallows and their song. Summer is on the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my Lord, that car! Were all those birds singing or sitting there quietly snickering about the people and vehicles below?

    I just finished drafting a blog post about birds, but it probably won’t go up until next week. If I remember, I’ll let you know when it’s up, because I have a question about the birds I’ve written about in that post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We have swallows that return here from somewhere every spring, and depart in the fall. I ought to keep a record of the day I first see them since it seems to be as regular as those arriving in Capistrano. I’m sure it’s in April; I’ll have to watch.

    We have cormorants that line up on wires over a certain marina. It’s hilarious to watch them when a new one flies in. Everyone has to shift, up and down the wire, to maintain that ‘personal space.’

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I LOVE these images…love, love, love them!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Migration is fascinating.


  15. The final photo and caption cracked me up. Another successful bombing run . . . look out below! Cliff Swallows annually return to certain areas in Yellowstone National Park.

    Liked by 1 person

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