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Swifts in the rain

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  • Rich712@...
    Chirp, Vaux s Happening people on the state s wet side have established that the birds will beat the big raindrops to the roost site. The weather this
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2013
      Vaux's Happening people on the state's wet side have established that the birds will "beat the big raindrops to the roost site."
      The weather this evening (Sunday) hinted that we could test those observations locally.  I planned to leave for Johnson's Auto Glass earlier than usual today but when my granddaughter told me that a thunderstorm was moving through, I grabbed a jacket and my bins and dashed out the door.  Just a few raindrops hit the windshield on my drive but I could see that darker skies prevailed towards town.  Arriving at 6:26 pm, the parking lot was wet with scattered puddles.  Perhaps I missed some entry but a glance skyward revealed 300 scattered swifts sailing high above the downtown area.  Peregrine was tucked into the Larson Building's south face.
      Wind gusts and some light rain followed.  At 6:32 pm, 8 swifts dove into the chimney.  This is a full hour plus earlier than the first entry for the past week.  After a pause, 103 entered at 6:36 pm.  While there were a few scattered entries, not much happened until 7:10 pm when a shade over 200 plunged.  A few held out with the final entry at 7:19 pm. 
      Tonight, almost all of the swifts were in the roost a full four minutes BEFORE tonight's 7:14 pm sunset.  Prior days this week (all warm evenings with sunny skies), the first entry was not occurring until 20 to 25 minutes AFTER sunset.
      Again, it is possible that additional rain intolerant swifts entered prior to my 6:26 arrival.  My tally for the evening was 352.
      Slightly Soggy Swifter
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