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An Evening With The Swifts

This post will look like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but being there wasn't the least bit creepy. It was actually quite serene.

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Each year, thousands of migrating Swifts find the Chapman School in NW Portland just before sunset. They circle the chimney before finally swooping into it. This scene is repeated night after night through most of September.

I convince myself that I'll be able to take some great photos of the spectacle, but I'm not sure I did much better this year than I did last year. Ahh well. It was still something fascinating to see.

Click the photos for a larger version, or view them all on my flickr.

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Waiting for the Swifts to arrive.

...still waiting - and bored. Taking shots of whatever (in this case, the Montgomery Park building).

...still bored and waiting... now taking shots of people taking shots...

...still waiting for the Swifts - watching a few kids skateboard down the grassy hill we were sitting at the top of.

Ahh - finally! We have Swifts!

And here it is - our Hitchcock moment:

Oh, if only I'd brought my frigging tripod!

While the sun slowly sets, as thousands of Swifts circled through the sky, the kids were still skateboarding down the hill. Simple pleasures, eh?

The highlight of the evening came when a hawk made a quick pass through the sky, leaving with one very unlucky birdie. Dinner. The crowd roared with delight as the hawk appeared. I think they were rooting for him.

I'm glad I didn't manage to get a shot of that.

::::: | Wednesday, Sep 10 2008 at 11:55 PM
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