[Tweeters] Swallow collapse

Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 17 23:40:42 PDT 2018

Hi all,
Christina of Woodinville broached the topic, otherwise I had been determined to not mention it because it's all so depressing:  The once massive Barn Swallow population of upland Seattle appears in my opinion (I don't have data) to have as of 2018 evaporated completely.  I only know of a small Barn Swallow colony in Georgetown this year, none whatsoever on Beacon Hill or any of their former upland Seattle haunts.  Violet-greens are still present in much of upland Seattle but in only a shadow of their former densities, in my opinion.
There hasn't been a good weather year for Seattle Swallows in at least a decade, the normal summer drought is now regularly virulent.

I used to say "September is the month in Seattle when suddenly you don't see Swallows in the air, but in their place you see Starlings veering out of their A-B flight to catch flying insects that would normally have been grabbed by a Swallow."  Now there are not only no Swallows, there are comparatively few Starlings, no doubt they are a victim of the hard-packed dry turf. I don't even see Starlings hawking insects in the late summer anymore.

Welcome to the Brave New World.

On a brighter note at Butyl Creek a couple days ago we had a couple of Willow Flycatchers, one in a standoff with a Cedar Waxwing, and a few moments later a Western Wood-pewee projectile-bathing in the creek for our fist record of a Pewee bathing in the creek.

Best wishes,
Ed Newbold

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