Monday, September 28, 2009

Not part of the plan

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Sunny, from Swan Island Dahlias.

Last Thursday evening after work Marsha and I rode three buses to get to Kenny & Zuke's to pick up our to-go orders, half pastrami sandwiches and sides of potato salad. We had a plan that included a picnic, a chimney and lots of birds. We wanted to take part in Swift Watch 2009.

This particular bird wasn't part of the plan, though. Later on once we'd arrived at the site and had joined hundreds of people waiting for the event, I did hear a man near our blanket saying that there had been a hawk present last year, sitting atop the chimney as the swifts flew around and around. More photos tomorrow and Wednesday.

I'm not sure if I cropped and sharpened the previous photo too much, so I've left this one for you to see, too.

Here's a bit from the Audubon Society's Web site: Join us on the lawn at Chapman School each evening in September for a spectacular display of Vaux’s Swifts as they gather to roost in the school’s chimney. Volunteers from Portland Audubon will be present each night with information about the swifts, binoculars and a spotting scope for viewing.

Swifts are insect eating birds that migrate south each fall. At sunset during migration they choose a place where dozens to thousands of birds can roost (sleep). Since the late 1980’s the Chapman chimney has been one of these roosting sites.

Swift watching – coming to view the swifts as they prepare to roost – has become a very popular activity at the Chapman School site in recent years. On most evenings in September, several hundred to several thousand people gather on the school lawn and neighboring Wallace Park grounds to watch and listen as the swifts gather overhead before entering the chimney.

Today's dahlia, Sunny. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 9" Bright Yellow, Bush: 4'

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