10200Johnson's Jaw Jarring Jolt - Sweet n Swift
- Aug 29, 2014Chirp,
Thought the slightly cooler and slightly breezy evening might up the swift ante at Johnson's Auto Glass.
Checking the Larson Building prior to waxing my way over to Johnson's, I noted Lars, the Peregrine Falcon, once again perched atop the south face. Must have a nice view from 14 stories up...we should try to get him a clicker to tally swift totals for us. My last three observations of the swift roost, the falcon has been perched facing the building, casting frequent looks over his shoulder. I wonder if this is a gesture of peace towards the swifts; or just more comfortable by allowing his tail to hang free; or more conducive if a discharge is forthcoming.
Also spotted my first Swifts of the evening as I was eyeing the falcon...a smattering of 30 or so over the building. Settled in at Johnson's around 7:45 and estimated 200 swifts in a well spaced, wide circling pattern. A minute later, it was 400. Sunset was 7:47 tonight and YVAS newsletter editor Elizabeth Bohn called on my cell phone. I mentioned that the flock was easily 500, maybe headed for a thousand. As she lives close by, she and her dad made a dash down. Pat S. happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to drop in as the YVAS chapter meeting last night piqued her interest is seeing this phenomenon.
The Bohns made it and we enjoyed seeing the swifts gather in a classic cyclone funnel only to disperse and then reform. A couple early birds dropped in to chimney at 7:57 but the bulk swirled until 8:06 when an almost continuous drop started...lasting maybe two minutes. A few stragglers seemed to struggle as if the chimney was choked at the rim.
I averaged my total with Greg's and came up with 658. Last year in the southbound migration, Johnson's topped one-thousand swifts several times in September.
Below is a link to the live camera in the chimney in Monroe, WA...right now looks like close to a thousand??? If you are reading this in the morning, give it a click anyway. This morning I checked at 8:45am and birds were leaving but many were still there. Better light in the morning also...especially if you are into bricks!
As it is Labor Day weekend and many folks may be traveling, I am thinking of seeing if there is any interest in a mini-field trip/observation wing-ding on Wednesday evening. Weather looks promising. Sunset will move up to around 7:35 or so by then. We could meet in the parking lot behind Johnson's (entry off 2nd St). I could bring a scope in case the falcon cooperates. Drop BirdYak a post or email me if you would like an informal gathering.
Not so Swift