Tonight, as a nearly full moon was climbing the celestial vault, and the setting sun painted the western welkin a lovely orange, I had a rare treat... I saw a chupacabra. No, this wasn't the chupacabra of urban legend, but a real old-school goatsucker... and no, it wasn't Mickey Kaus.
In the deepening twilight, I had the pleasure of seeing two common nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) in flight. These birds are easily identified (if rarely seen) by long, narrow wings, each marked with a large white patch. They are very graceful in flight- more aerobatic than a jay or a crow, but less than a swift or a swallow- as an aside, my mind was damn near blown the day I learned that the swifts and swallows are not-closely related... this is a really beautiful example of convergent evolution. The nightjars have a feeding style similar to that of the swifts and swallows (and bats)- snapping up insects on the wing. Their aerial dance was something to behold.