Vaux’s Swift Roost in Monroe, WA

So my wife, who is a bird enthusiast has done what she does best: teach me to love new things. Near our house is Lake Ballinger, with a big peat bog island in the middle of it. In summer, we swim out to it and often spend a couple of hours swimming round it.

The island is a bird sanctuary for Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, Crows, Blue Herons, and some mystery bird that flies in great murmurration over the island on some evenings.

Somebody we chatted with who was out kayaking while we were swimming suggested they might be swifts (we were guessing everything from starlings to swallows). Then they told us to drive out to Monroe and check out the swifts who roost in a chimney in the old school building there.

So Saturday evening, that’s what we did. Turns out the building is right down the street from Our Lady of the Valley, where the wonderful Fr. Phil Bloom is pastor.

Sure enough a murmurration showed up right at dusk and zillions of little swifts dove down the chimney to sleep for the night. You can read about it here. It was magical. A lovely, odd way to spend and evening with my sweetie.

If you’ve never seen a murmurration, check it out!

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