[Tweeters] Re: Swift Night Out - Monroe

Pterodroma at aol.com Pterodroma at aol.com
Sun Sep 15 15:17:41 PDT 2013


Just wanted to say THANKS to all (Larry Schwitters, Pilchuck, Eastside,
and Seattle Audubons) for a great evening at the "Swift Night Out" event at
the Wagner Chimney Saturday evening. Great experience, great show, great
lecture, great everything! And as a bonus, better than perfect weather,
especially right at prime time sunset and after the gray gloom of most of the
earlier part of the day having given way to a sky in pastels; blue and pink
streaky cirrus sky and half moon to boot; aesthetically stunning! Hugh
Jennings and I watched the show and 30-min grand finale (7:20-7:50pm) from the
north side of the Wagner Elementary School chimney. Much less crowded
with attendees on that side than the south, but from there, the added moon in
the southern sky was a really nice touch ...and a creative artsy photo op
missed.

A little worrisome at first and just as we emerged from the school
auditorium and Larry's talk, we spotted a Peregrine lazily circling round and
round and round up there amidst the gathering swifts about 20 min before
sunset. This went on for on for about 10 minutes. The swifts didn't seem unduly
alarmed but then just suddenly seemed to all disappear. They hadn't
actually, rather just enmass, went up up up and out of naked eye sight
completely! Only with binoculars could all those birds be seen at all and then just
as mere tiny black specks. Eventually, the Peregrine got bored, and rode
off into the sunset to the west but a few blocks away apparently spotted
something, folded up, and went into a 45-degree stoop and disappeared below
the tree line. Shortly after, it reappeared just above the tree line
silhouetted against the sunset sky a bit further away but didn't appear to have
succeeded catching anything. Within seconds of the Peregrine's departure
from the swift gathering over Wagner, all those birds swirling around way way
high came immediately back down to naked eye visual range and resumed the
nightly swirl in ritualistic preparation for the eventual day's ending dive
into the chimney roost.

Pretty cool stuff. I was impressed and totally jazzed by the whole
experience!

Richard Rowlett
Bellevue (Eastgate), WA


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