Last Tuesday Laurel and I journeyed to northwest Portland to be part of September's daily swift watch -- when many thousands of Vaux's Swifts circle the large chimney at Chapman Elementary School before darting down it in a marvelous display of aerial avian acrobatics.
My You Tube video won't make it on the Discovery Channel, but I got some good shots of a couple of hawk attacks. Kind of sad, but part of the balance of nature.
In addition to the swifts, who naturally are the main attraction, I show the happy crowd of swift watchers perched on the grassy knoll above Chapman Elementary.
I also took some still photographs with my Sony DSC-HX1, which proved to be quite capable as a video camera (first time I'd taken video with it).
The vibe at the swift watch was wonderful. A real feeling of community: lots of laughter, hugs, sharing of food, dogs, children playing. Living out in the country as we do, I was reminded of the appeal of city living in a got-it-together place like northwest Portland.Their FAQs will tell you what you need to know.
An Oregon Public Broadcasting video supplies additional info about swifts. They can't perch, given how their claws are arranged, but they can cling. So when they aren't in chimneys (the modern replacement for hollow Douglas Fir snags), they're flying around.