Yesterday I noticed a group of Chimney Swifts flying over and around our house. They were flying close together and making a high-pitched chirping. I had to get my bird book to identify them, as I had never seen them before. They were easy to photograph, as they kept making circles over the house.
In flight, this bird looks like a flying cigar with slender curved wings. These birds live on the wing, foraging in flight. They eat flying insects. They usually feed in groups, flying closely together and making a high-pitched chipping noise. Their flight is distinctive: they make rapid angular turns unlike most other birds. Both the claws and tail bristles are used to cling to rough vertical surfaces. Swifts are unable to perch or stand upright.
Look for the swifts in these photos. The clouds and sky were magnificent.
The below photo doesn't have any swifts, but shows on the left the mighty pine tree in which the guineas sleep every night. It's a very tall and old pine tree, taller than most of the other trees in the area.
The great horse chestnut tree is on the right. This is the only horse chestnut tree on the property, believed to have been planted by the settlers who came to this country. The horse chestnut is not native to this area, and has many medicinal purposes which are very interesting. Our homesight is the site of the original homstead built in the 1700's. The former home was destroyed and the current house was built in the 1850s.
I'm sure we have many other herbs and medicinal plants which were planted long ago, just waiting to be identified!