Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Swallows' roosting

Now that it's nearly mid-September, at last temperatures dropped to less than 35C
and the mornings and evenings are much cooler.
Scorching, sizzling, and sweltering summer is my country's usual, but it has gotten
more and more overwhelmingly powerful.
While white towering cumulus clouds and blue skies are refreshing symbol of summer,
big, dark, unnerving clumulonimbus clouds were seen almost every day
and poured warning level rain.

About two weeks ago, I was at the north-west of the Nara Palace Site Historical Park
 to see swallows' roosting.
Swallows land in the reeds beyond the summer grasses and flowers in the photo below.

While the western sky was covered with thunder clouds, the north-west sky was
still bright in the glow of the setting sun.
Some birds appeared like a prelude from the east, the direction of the Daigokuden Hall.

It took a while until swarms of swallows appeared above my head.
Roosting can be observed about 20 minutes around the sunset.

Their swirling is quite a spectacle.
I was marvelled at how swallows could fly, dive, and veer at such high speed 
without crashing into each other.

They nosedived to barely above the reeds only to turn sharply upward
 before gradual landing in to the reeds.
They are too swift to capture especially in that low light.

When the spectacle is over, darkness is already fallen.
Swallows are in reed-beds.

(Image source; here by the Wild Bird Society of Japan.)

Funny but somehow the sight reminded me of the huge wave of pedestrians flooding into
the Shibuya Scramble Crossing for a minute, the world's busiest pedestrian crossing.

The ancient Palace Site of Nara is one of the largest resting sites for swallows in Japan.
Up to 60,000 of swarrows can be seen during the peak period in August through September.
Swallows make their nests in the eaves of houses and grow their chicks in spring.
In summer, after finishing raising their children, they pass the night together 
in reed fields until at last they depart for south.

Memories of summer; glamping, concerts, cooking, arts and crafts, fireworks, etc.

Linked to Mosaic Monday


  1., summer is a wonderful season, but it seems to slip away quickly. We need to enjoy each day that comes our way.

  2. Hi. Nice to see you back with beautiful photos about the birds. You put in so much effort and time to capture the perfect skies with so many swallows flying. I had never seen so many birds flying happily like this. Thank you!

  3. Our Starlings swirl around like that just before roosting, a truly spectacular sight. (Check out YouTube for "starling murmuration" if you want to see). Such beautiful photos as always.

  4. Wonderful skies and really magical photos of all the departing Swallows.
    Our Swallows too will be departing soon and flying south. They travel to western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco and then across the Sahara to South Africa, however, some of the birds follow the west coast of Africa avoiding the Sahara.
    I am wondering where your Swallows final destination is? What amazing little birds they are.


    1. Our Swallows migrate for wintering to South East Asia and as far as Australia.

  5. Beautiful skies full of clouds and birds...
    Summer is leaving...Fall is coming...
    Lovely mosaic of grandchildren !
    Have a lovely day !

  6. Hello Yoko,

    Lovely captures of the sky and the swallows are an amazing sight to see. It is a cool experience to see swarms of swallows come into nest. Your summer sounds like a fun time, I would like the glamping and arts and crafts. Concerts are wonderful too. Great collection of photos. Take care, have a wonderful day!

  7. These are wonderful sky shots, stardust! And your summer looks very busy and happy with family. The way swallows manoeuvre in the air without crashing into one another is a marvel, indeed, and somewhat similar to how humans travelling on a big highways might look, too, from above. :)

  8. Welcome back, Yoko, I'm really glad to hear from you. All kinds of clouds, whatever the names, make an impressive performance of Nature. Your little ones have grown as if the sun rays reched their heads and pulled them hogher:) Autumn is out there, you know?
    With a warm smile,

  9. Wonderful mood in each photo. I enjoyed your post.

    Thank you for sharing and being part at


    Have a wonderful week.
    Greetings by Heidrun

  10. You've had some beautiful skies to see and photograph! Love the mosaic of your family too. Looks like fun. I had a house full of kids and enjoyed every minute of it!

  11. Esos cielos me enamoraron. Te mando un beso.

  12. Dear Yoko!
    Hello and I am glad that your post appeared.
    The sky photos are spectacular and you can't take your eyes off them.
    Autumn is fast approaching and birds are migrating. I have never seen so many swallows

    I send you hugs and greetings.

  13. Me encantó este post Yoko. Preciosas fotos que es un gusto mirar. Muy tranquilas estaban las golondrinas. Gracias por compartir amiga.
    Buena semana.
    Un abrazo.

  14. I enjoyed seeing your gorgeous photos, Yoko.
    So lovely to hear from you again.

    Hugs and blessings

  15. It's sad to see summer leaving, but autumn is always welcome, especially seeing the sky full of those beautiful swallows. I wonder that they can navigate between other swallows at that speed without causing a swallow disaster! Here in Canada we see the starlings flying in huge flocks in the autumn, called a murmuration.

  16. Thank you for sharing your lovely photographs.
    The summer days went by so quickly.
    I hope you are enjoying the month of September.

    All the best Jan

  17. How wonderful to see all those swallows! I wish I could see this sight. The sight of all those swallows wheeling and swooping around the stormy and colourful clouds was magnificent. Although I don't like to see threatening skies, I also find them quite exciting. We have swallows coming here in the summer, but they are getting fewer. I believe that people in some Mediterranean countries still shoot them for fun. It was a country custom in the old days, but I never could see the attraction. And now that swallows are threatened in Britain, I'm angry that it is still allowed. Our weather this year wasn't too hot but I notice I am less tolerant of the heat these days. Probably an age thing. I hope your autumn is lovely. We will always remember how good it was to meet you and the others in Nara Park, and feed the deer under the autumnal trees!

  18. I've seen videos of swallows in their sky acrobatics - it's mesmerizing to watch. (And your skies that evening were the perfect backdrop.) I'm sorry I'm so late visiting. I try to spend every moment before the snow flies outdoors.


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