Late this afternoon I stopped in at what is reputedly the smallest and newest lake in Japan, Lake Shirachi in Shimabara. Actually more of a large pond than a lake, it is surrounded by streets but usually has herons and egrets as well as a few resident “soup” ducks. However it is also a good place to attempt to photograph Barn Swallows in flight as they feed and drink in and around the small lake. This afternoon there weren’t too many other birds around, just a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, although earlier I had paused at the forest and photographed a female Brambling as well as a nice flowering Chinese Fringetree branch! The Barn Swallows cooperated nicely…an interesting shot has two birds trying to snatch a feather in mid-air, while another shot has a bird that plucked something from the water’s surface – probably a bug of some sort.