The swifts in Portland

Our urban sledding this year, started with our visit to see the swifts.

There were trials.  Combinations of all sorts. The long plastic sled, the round one. Solo, with two or three friends.

Standing (this Mamá was more scared of this one) and sitting.

And of course, the cardboard sledding.

This year my parents are visiting and got to go with us.  We took our picnic and had dinner there, as we do each year. Waiting and watching the swifts come for their evening rest at the school’s chimney.

A tradition for us, of many, many (12?) years.

The first Vaux Swifts start appearing.

The lawn at Chapman School is full. So full you cannot walk around without stepping on someone’s picnic blanket.

We are all staring up high.  The reds in the sky are deeper.

We see the hawk.  It has come the last few years.  It’s almost planned, like a show it seems at times.  But a real, nature show.  A story being told in front of our eyes.

It’s a story that will probably repeat the next day.

And the next.  Until it’s too cold for them, and they’ve all gone south.   And as the sun sets, and the sky gets darker and darker by the seconds, the flying and circling gets more intense, and you can see the dark cloud over the school’s roof.

And the birds, almost like painted dots in the purple sky, move around in circles.  As fast as my eyes can see them.  Thousands, ten thousands of them.  Me, unable to differentiate one from another. Turning, circling, in a tunnel, like a hurricane, going inside a brick cylinder, for a secure and much needed rest.  Preparing themselves, for another long day, going south.  To a warmer place.

An obvious sign, at least for us, that the cooler, shorter days are approaching.  Autumn is here.  And I love this time of the year.  I am ready, but still enjoying the sun rays, that are weaker each day, but still warming my skin a little.

I will leave you with a fun video I made. Nothing fancy nor professional.  But another part of the story of the hawk visiting the swifts as they are going down the chimney, and chased away by the thousands of swifts.


2 thoughts on “The swifts in Portland

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