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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Jane Henderson

September 18, 2006

How ‘Bout Them Swifts!

The Chimney Swift Roost field trip on the evening of Monday, September 18 turned out to be a rather spectacular success. There's never been a better attended DVOC field trip!

Thanks to Don Sapatkin’s article in the Saturday, September 16 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, over 125 people turned up at the John Story Jenks Elementary School in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia to witness the annual Chimney Swift extravaganza.

A few people in the gathering, maybe 10, were actually DVOC members. But the rest were interested folks, who were there because they had read Don’s well researched article. Some had also seen the update on the DVOC website; others heard about it at the previous Friday night’s Wyncote Audubon meeting. The DVOC people, including Bert Filemyr, Connie Goldman, Nick Haass, Raja Stevenson, Shawn Kass, Laverne Lee and me, as well as other swift aficionados, including Judy Stepenaskie and my husband Bob Cohen, circulated among the crowd and did their best to answer the many questions people asked.

The swifts arrived, one or two at first, circling the chimney around 6:45, and joined by others little by little. A bit later they began to fill the sky, making a big circle around the chimney. They finally got organized and performed on cue, the last ones funneling down the chimney around 7:30 PM, when everybody applauded. It was great.

To find out why the swifts opted for Jenks, rather than the sites they have preferred in previous years, Dobson and Shawmont Schools, you’d have to ask a swift.

As September goes on, if past experience serves, more and more swifts should be gathering each evening at the Jenks chimney. So it’s not too late to catch the show.

Jane Henderson


Pictures by Jane Henderson and Bert Filemyr