Recently I found a decent-sized group of Cliff Swallows nesting under the side of a bridge. I sat and watched them for awhile as they swooped out as a group to snatch bugs out of the air and bring them back to their chicks. I read that both parents feed the young, which could explain why so many of them clustered around the nests, but in some cases one of them would try to fly to one nest, get turned away by some of the others there, and then fly out to a different nest and stop there.
They were fun to watch; swallows are very aerobatic, taking sudden turns and diving through the air. I tried taking some pictures, but the whole scene was better captured on video. Plus, I got to try out slow motion, although that camera can only record a few seconds of slow motion video.
This Great Blue Heron was slightly tamer than some others we had spotted, but that flew off as soon as we stopped. Got a great look at him/her with the camera. There are some other neat videos people have taken of Great Blue Herons hunting on YouTube that I came across too, if you are interested.
Some footage my mother took showing Sandhill Cranes in greater detail than the flight video I posted before. The Cranes seem more wary than the Heron was. Generally, they weren’t both pecking at the ground at the same time, and when they did, it wasn’t for long. You can see that there is oftentimes one scanning the surroundings, and they periodically pause to raise their heads up and look around.
Coming in from outside a few nights ago I noticed a strange bug on the wall. There were actually two of them, but this video turned out the best. I didn’t even know where to begin searching for this, so I posted it trying to figure out what it was. As it turns out, it is a Bagworm Moth Caterpillar, perhaps this one:
They apparently spin mobile cases out of silk and any surrounding materials. There is some more interesting information about Bagworm Moths here:
It seems that the females never leave their case, and males only leave to fly to females and mate.
I will be getting a larger post up soon of a day trip to Red Wing, Minnesota, but wanted to put this short one up in the mean time. Thanks!