Monday, September 21, 2009

Swiftwathch 2009

The Chapman Swifts are a pretty famous bunch of birds that roost in a big chimney every fall in Porltand. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people turn out nightly to watch them descend in a beautiful spiral. Just one more reason to love this city. Hawks make regular appearances, and there is a huge collective ooohhhhh. Some cheer and some boo as they invariable make off with a swift. Alas, just the food chain. Orion said he thought it would be sad if it was a baby bird... interesting.

Early on, just a few birds. At this point, it is really interesting to scan the horizon to see that they are showing up from every direction.
Pandemonium on the hill! Adults watch the birds while kids slide down the hill. Something for everyone!
Orion never did get the hang of the sliding. If you look really closely, you can see him in the white shirt way down on the flat part.

Boys chattin' it up.
Owen taking a break, watching the birds maybe?
Numbers increasing.
Some interesting aerial patterns forming now.
Akasha was very excited watching them! She even threw her arm up in the air a number of times, but I kept missing it. This is why I could never be a child photographer - too slow!
So... that's Orion at the top right corner of the cage....
At that point, I tuned my ears and body language sensor in. Sure enough, he was stuck and needed help getting down!

Hey, the view from down on the field was even better!
Some of the final moments.
So very cool. Glad we went!

ETA: I forgot to add there has even been a movie made about the swifts, and I love the trailer for it:

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