And so I did. And while doing so I discovered these adorable swallow juveniles resting on a ledge. In the air overhead were dozens more juveniles and adults flying and calling. What a delight to listen and watch their acrobatic aerial displays over the man-made pond and fountain. Not only were the swallows catching insects attracted to the water, but they also flew along the surface to drink. Amazing to watch. And the thought of these juveniles learning and practicing feeding and drinking in flight was pure delight. I watched them take flight more than once, returning a few minutes later to rest and preen. (Or maybe it was their young cousins' turn to rest.)
Swallows were among the earliest birds to capture my interest as a child. Having grown up around barns and having a barn of my own in later years, I've always considered them endearing companions and neighbors.
A nesting pair of barn swallows frequently perched on my barn gate in the early mornings and chattered while I fed horses. Even while feeding their young, they went about their business accepting my presence as readily as I accepted theirs.
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #45 at Birdfreak.com to promote the conservation of our world's birds.