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CT River Museum Annual Swallow Paddle

September 3, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Tuesday, September 3, 2019
5:00 – 8:00 pm

This sunset paddle on the Connecticut River will give us a unique opportunity to see one of Natures’ most amazing avian spectacles, the swirling masses of up to 400,000 Tree Swallow performing their nightly aerial ballet. Each year in late summer Tree Swallows from all over southern New England begin to amass on the Connecticut River to feed on insects and prepare for their eventual southern migration. Every night through September they collect above the marshes at the mouth of the River and swirl overhead in a massive flock that undulates in choreographed waves and vortices until just after sunset when the whole flock descends like a collapsing tornado into the tall grass marshes to roost for the night. Many people are so awestruck by this phenomenon that they spontaneously burst into applause. Roger Tory Peterson called it the “most amazing avian spectacle” he’d ever witnessed.

We meet at the Pilgrim Landing boat launch in Old Lyme, between 5 and 5:30 to unload canoes and kayaks. After vessels are unloaded we will car pool to the commuter lot one quarter of a mile away because there are only 6 parking spaces at the boat launch. This slight inconvenience is a necessity to ensure everyone’s safety. From the boat launch we will paddle a short distance to Calves Island where we will assemble until everyone has arrived and then we will paddle up river to view the swallows. After the swallows descend into the marsh we will paddle back to the boat launch as a group. This is important because darkness will be approaching.

CRM vessels are not available for rent for this program as all paddle staff is offsite.

Free to members, $8 for non members



For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to museum’s website at www.ctrivermuseum.org.

The boat launch address is Pilgrim Landing Boat Launch, Pilgrim Landing Road, Old Lyme.  Plan to meet there between 5 and 5:30.

The Connecticut River Museum is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the Connecticut River and surrounding valley region.

Reservations required.


September 3, 2019
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Pilgrim Landing Boat Launch
Pilgrim Landing Road
Old Lyme, CT 06371 United States
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