[Tweeters] black swifts at Sauk Mountain

wheelermombi at comcast.net wheelermombi at comcast.net
Fri Jul 18 19:21:02 PDT 2014

Hi Tweeters,

I hiked up the Sauk Mountain trail today with Wendy Smith. Much of the hike is through meadow, so not a lot of bird species on the way up; some singing HERMIT THRUSHES, a few small flocks of PINE SISKINS in the occasional stands of trees, and a few other expected species. The wild flowers were in full bloom, butterflies were everywhere, and the scenery was spectacular. As we were reaching the end of the trail near the summit, I began to hear a high-pitched bird call that I couldn't place. When we made it to the top, I spotted a BLACK SWIFT maybe 30 feet above us. It soon flew off, but a few minutes later 3 Black Swifts appeared, calling to one another. They came fairly close a few times, often below where we were sitting. It was the clearest look that I have had of this species, and it was fascinating watching them while they swooped about. Their wing beats were much slower than our other two species of swifts, and they frequently glided. They vanished for a final times after a few minutes. An unusually curious pika would occasionally pop out of the rocks nearby and watch us briefly. A really nice day to be in the mountains.

Good birding,

Lonnie Somer
wheelermombi at comcast.net

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