The prospect of seeing a Cave Swallow in CT still gets my blood pumping. Despite fully expecting to see one (or more) today, I could not help but yell out "CAVE SWALLOW!" in nervous excitement when the first one passed through Lighthouse Point this morning.
So, I started at Lighthouse Point with two goals: 1) see Cave Swallow, 2) photograph Cave Swallow. In a matter of minutes two Caves raced through the park at a distance. Objective #1...check! I got on a third Cave Swallow, also at a distance, which I was able to photograph in the form of a blurry silhouette. But that wasn't good enough for a photo and I was still looking for a decent view. Several minutes passed without another swallow when Mark Aaronson strolled up to the hawkwatch, casually mentioning that there were a couple dozen (!) Cave Swallows feeding at East Shore Park! I was on my way.
Just five minutes later I was looking at a swarm of Caves feeding low over the sewage treatment plant adjacent to the park. I stood there in awe for a few seconds, just letting it sink in that I was watching a large flock of Cave Swallows in Connecticut. Several other birders arrived and we estimated the flock at ~20 birds; three Barn Swallows were also taking advantage of the buggy sewage ponds. No sign of other swallow species.
At about noon the flock all of a sudden vanished, leaving only the 3 Barn Swallows behind. After a few minutes of waiting, a single Cave Swallow returned (or maybe it was a new bird arriving...no doubt there were dozens of Cave Swallows in Connecticut today).
Five at once.
One Cave flanked on each side by a Barn Swallow.
Barn and Cave Swallows.