At this time of year, swallows are nesting under overhangs and raising their chicks. Many stores will place umbrellas under the nests to catch their droppings. They aren’t considered a nuisance. They’re a welcome sight in spring, and many people like to take their picture. This picture is a bit dark and grainy, unfortunately. I had to zoom in and it wasn’t very bright where the nest is.
The swallows nested next to a restaurant by the train station. It was feeding the chicks at this time.
On Sunday, I was at a beach barbecue at Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura, and we had some visitors. All along the beach, there are signs warning of hawks, as they like to attack unsuspecting people who are carrying food. I saw several people get attacked, losing their food in the process. One happened to be my friend, and he lost his corn. They can be quite aggressive, and they were present in large numbers. It was hard to get some good quality photos of the hawks, but I tried my best. Below is what I was able to capture.
A single hawk flying above.
Another hawk, a little closer.
Those are all hawks. There were plenty of crows around, but they didn't get mixed up with the much bigger hawks.
See the hawk in the middle? It didn't hit anyone, but it was probably going after someone's food.
They were everywhere!
The kites were also out. The plastic type, not the bird.
On our way to the temple on January 1st, we were walking along the river and happened to see some big black birds. I was quite surprised, because they’re cormorants. I’d never seen them near our home before. Cormorants are sometimes used in Japan for fishing. What they do is catch the fish in the river, and the fishermen pull the cormorants back and have them let the fish go. The cormorants we saw were wild, and they were sitting on the power lines above us. It appeared that a couple of them were either fighting or doing some kind of courtship.
Fighting? Or are they in love?
Not so agressive looking now.
There were 6 cormorants on the lines!
Every year in Japan, the swallows come home to make their nests and lay eggs. Swallows tend to return to the exact same place to make their nest every year. The nests are commonly found under overhangs, often in front of stores. The businesses will hang umbrellas upside-down to catch the swallows’ droppings. Right now, the babies are big, and ready to leave the nest. I took this picture about a week ago, and you can see one of the babies waiting to be fed.
This fully grown baby swallow was waiting for food.