Tom (and others),
Not quite the same. The phenomenon Steve is inviting folks to come see is a site where the swallows come in to roost in the corn. Doris Fitchett first observed this and led Steve to the site several years ago. What happens there is what Roger Tory Peterson, describing the same behavior at an eastern site, said was one of the most exciting sights in birding (I can't remember the exact words at this time).
The swallows come in from all directions. It is best to have an unobstructed view facing west so you can see the birds against the western, more lighted sky. You become aware that there appears to be a very large dark cloud over the corn field. It grows (as more birds arrive). Then it begins to rain…birds! Groups of 20 to 500 birds just begin to drop out of the sky into the corn. It looks very much like the way you see rain in the distance--a dark cloud to ground area--as birds leave the flying formation and drop into the corn to roost. They must move within the corn, because shortly after one group falls in, another comes down in the same spot.
This goes on for perhaps a half hour, rain shower after rain shower that are really birds coming down. We're not sure how many. Easily 500,000 thousand, perhaps more.
If you get a chance to go see it, DO! It is a spectacular, awing experience.
On Oct 1, 2013, at 3:27 AM, Tom wrote:
Same on 4027 Rd in Holts Summit. Tree swallows lined up on the power lines late evening taking in the last few minutes of sun light.
I finely got a chance to get down and check on the annual Swallow staging Spectacle this evening. There were many, many thousands of Swallows over the fields at the usual place in northern Chariton Co. They were gathering and going down to roost in the cornfield on the north side of of the intersection of gravel roads Kaye and Ranch. This is west of blacktop YY. Best viewing is with a mostly clear sky, and between 6:30 & 7:30 p.m. right now. Should be good for next week or more, weather permitting. If you go to see the Show be sure and park to the side of the roads to keep them clear for the farming vehicles. Can contact me for more info.