Swallows, Swifts and House Martins

There are two Barn Swallows resting in the tree up ahead. That’s good. I’d like to photograph them and they’ve been flying too fast for me to follow so far. I’m going to see how close I can get to their perch.

You know that humans have many different walks suitable for all social situations? There’s the exaggerated creep of someone arriving late for a show. There’s the zombie walk of someone looking at social media on their phone. There’s the swinging swagger of someone from Manchester who knows they live in the finest city on Earth. I’ve done all three in the past. And then there’s the walk of a bird photographer trying to appear as non-threatening as possible. That’s me today.

Swallows - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The sunlight is harsh and quite intense on this glorious blue-sky day in Rome:

Swallows - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I get quite close. One flies off while the other chirps. I can’t quite hear it clearly:

Swallows - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I manage to get a few photographs of them flying but they’re all ever-so-slightly out of focus. I even have a marvellous close-up of one with a piece of grass in its beak. An out of focus piece of grass in an out of focus beak. They are skimming a buttercup-laden meadow hunting for insects:

Swallows - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s idyllic here, especially after having had such nice coffee and cake.

Buttercups - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

There are Swifts here too:

Swift - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Common Swift’s scientific name is Apus apus. Apus means footless. They do have feet; they just don’t use them that often. Unlike me; I’ve been on mine all morning.

Swift - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And finally, a Common House Martin puts in an appearance:

House Martin - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s time to walk back through the park now. I’m going to walk like a Roman. Now how do they do that exactly?

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