Recently, I showed you an image of an in-flight bee fly. Although it was hard to capture that tiny insect with the long focal-length lens, it was not that hard as capturing this image of an in-flight swallow. Despite, bee flies are very small, their flight is kind of predictable. They are not flight that quick and they are not changing the directions abruptly. They also stay on nearly the same level above the plants.
Barn swallows instead are flying very quickly because they are hunting flying insects and thus changing their flight direction and hight unpredictable. Compared to this, the bee fly simply ‘stands still’ in the air, although she was also constantly moving.
This image is from early April and I was very surprised to see a barn swallow so early. The air was still cold (below 10°C). As far as I know, that’s the minimum temperature for insects to be able to fly.
There were years when swallows came back from the south too early when the air was still cold. The air had temperatures too cold for insects to fly which resulted in hungry swallows. Hunting for flying insects was without results, because of the cold. So they were forced to walk around and pick plant lice from the bushes because they were too weak to fly from all the unsuccessful hunts. A friend of mine, a nature conservationist, reported that year swallows simply falling off the sky. They died of hunger while flying.
I was in that place before and met hundreds of swallows. But, it was June and warm. So I was surprised to see one (two on the next day).
This is a quite common kind of food selling booth. Despite it looks like a pop-up shop, it’s more permanent. In Germany, you can find these food selling booths nearly everywhere. They are selling ice-cream, fish rolls, French fries, bratwurst, döner, waffles and so on: food to eat while walking or simply standing beside the booths. Some of these kinds of food you could find everywhere, others are more regional like this crab selling booth or booths selling fish rolls.
The writing on top of the booth says: “fresh crabs daily” and “unpreserved”. While the writing in the lower right corner says: “not today” 🤣
Here we meet a cormorant. You know, cormorants eat fish and they catch fish by diving after them. As long as the water isn’t frozen, they stay and hunt. Because they don’t have the option to seal their feathers with grease to keep the feathers dry, they have to spread out their wings after a few dives to get dry again.
During winter, not only the water is cold, also the air is cold. But, a cormorant lives his life anyway. When getting hungry they have to dive after fish and get wet. Afterwards you can see them standing somewhere with spread wings for getting dry again. I guess, it’s a long time during winter.
This cormorant stood on the beach for a long time to get dry in mid January. For about an hour or so we were able to observe him, he stood there looking at the sea and kept in his place even when humans show up and came quite close.