I think I posted about one of these before -- there was some kind of insect hatching event in my garden again. A little after 11 AM, I noticed there were a huge number of swallows zooming and swooping over my house and garden. They were flying overhead near roof level and just a little above all over the back yard and front yard.
I pointed my iPad at the sky and took videos and as I was doing that, realized there were not only swallows but dragonflies too.
Since I was looking up and recording, it became more and more obvious that they were *really* only flying over my garden -- making sharp turns to come back and swoop through over and over again. I walked to the front yard/sidewalk to one end of the property, turned and recorded over my house, to the front, then turned around slowly recording the neighborhood, then to the other end, there was no doubt.
As I walked, I looked everywhere, on the ground, in the air, and including the house siding just in case it was something nasty, but I couldn't see what they were so excitedly feeding on.
I see this kind of localized swarming over my garden at least a couple of times during the summer. I remember seeing all the little black ant queens and drones taking off at once from their ant colony hills one time (they seem to do this together -- out of all of the anthills in the garden), and another time, something else that I couldn't identify. So maybe one of those? But I guess I missed the initial takeoff at ground level today, and they were all already a-wing by the time the birds and dragonflies were feeding.
It's really kind off odd to see the aerial activity from all different directions around the property and at the surrounding neighborhood, and realize it's just going on here. (But it also makes me happy to feel like this is an affirmation that my efforts to create a biodiverse wildlife habitat in my relatively tiny postage stamp of a garden are effective.) And I'm glad I took the videos because in a matter of 1/2 hr or so that I was looking up at the sky, both the birds and dragonflies started to disperse, and in an hour they were gone.
The videos I took today were pretty low quality, but, someday, if I ever learn to edit and splice these videos together into something presentable and learn how to post it in a way that can be shared, I will.
Here are a couple of stills extracted from the videos (tap/click to enlarge):
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.