As late June arrived, I began seeing lots and lots of juvenile Barn Swallows swifting over the open rice fields. They used to arrive later than this, or at least I feel that way. Over the last 10 years, the resident population in Thailand has seemed to increase. Though their breeding range is still quite restricted to the country's north-westernmost mountains, the number seems to have more than doubled. And when the real wintertime comes, more fellows from northern countries will soon join these local population. It's about time to be gettin' ready for the migration once again.
|Adult female Wire-tailed Swallow; note rufous wash on breast|
|Juvenile Barn Swallow|
|Adult Barn Swallow|
|Juvenile Wire-tailed Swallow|
At Ban Huai Hang, a small countryside town near my local patch, I enjoyed taking photos of a mixed flock of Barn and Wire-tailed Swallows that were roosting on giant mimosa trees along the small canal. Most of them were Barns but there were also about 5, plus or minus, Wire-taileds. Most of the birds were juvenile, which was not surprising. I could easily take photos of them from a hide which I placed right on the opposite side of the canal.
|Adult Wire-tailed and juvenile Barn Swallows|
|Juvenile Wire-tailed Swallows|
|This one has most of the adult upperwing covert feathers|
|Adult Barn Swallow|
|Very dull juvenile Barn Swallow|
It was interesting to see various stages of moult of the juveniles, especially for the Wire-tailed Swallows. Some birds had shiny bluish-glossed upperwing coverts, while some didn't. Some already had pale rufous crown, while some still had dull greyish-brown head. As for the Barn Swallows, there was a good variety as well. Some birds were really dull, with greyish-brown throat and forehead and almost no glossy feathers on the upperwing coverts, while some looked much brighter with reddish throat and bluish upperwing coverts.
|Dull juvenile Wire-tailed Swallow|
|Shame the face was covered|
|Showing wing moult|
|The one on the left is beginning the moult on the forehead.|
|Three little cute juvenile swallows|
|A more colourful juvenile Barn Swallow|