[Tweeters] Swift Night Out - Monroe

Larry Schwitters leschwitters at me.com
Sun Sep 15 17:09:19 PDT 2013

Thanks Richard. A lot of people put a lot of effort into making this happen, and the weather and birds certainly did their part. It sure looked like a lot more, but there were only 1500 swifts that entered the Monroe roost site last night. As that was going down Burney Huff was real busy documenting nearly 12,000 of the birds at JBLM.

Larry Schwitters
On Sep 15, 2013, at 3:17 PM, Pterodroma at aol.com wrote:

> 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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