Swallows at Lost Lagoon

On the Victoria Day weekend during on of my usual walks around Lost Lagoon, I noticed that the new bird houses that the Nature House had just put in were starting to attract residents. Sparrows had already moved in and were rearing chicks; swallows were begining to take an interest in the bird-houses-on-poles that had been erected in the lagoon, some 30-50 feet off shore, near the Nature House.

Lost Lagoon Nature House - Stanley Park

I'm not sure quite what triggered my thinking, but I realized that very soon, during the later evening hours, just before sunset, the swallows would begin mating. I had so much fun and had such success with my first time out with the DA50-135 ƒ2.8 telephoto zoom that I wanted to see what success I could have trying to capture their mating ritual.

I rented the same lens a couple of days later, and after supper my partner and I headed out. As we neared the Nature House, I knew we were in luck. The sun was just beginning to peak underneath the clouds, flooding the lagoon with a rich amber light. Swallows were darting and swooping low and fast over the water, catching their evening meal from the air-borne clouds of small flies and bugs. And one loud and brash male was gesturing and singing loudly, swooping in long arcing curves, landing on top of one of the new bird houses, right in front of the Nature House.

After about thirty minutes, a smaller swallow flashed up and landing on a nearby bird house rooftop, she lifted her tail feathers high, making it very clear she was interested. The male began to dart and swoop over her, first to one side and then the other, but always behind her. Their ritual mating dance was unfolding before me.

I was lucky. The light couldn't have been better and the wildlife more cooperative!

Here are a few of the pictures that I captured and are a first for me.  I am excited ... these images really capture the energy and feeling of that moment, and I am very pleased with the results.

There will be more of this ... stay tuned!


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