[Tweeters] Now do you want to see a Black Swift?

Larry Schwitters leschwitters at me.com
Fri Aug 20 12:35:57 PDT 2021

I’m posting this again for Oregon’s Eric Horvath who has now photographed 26 WA sites (all waterfalls) that show a bird on a nest.

Here he gives you directions to an easy one.

Hi Tweeters. As part of a search for Black Swifts nesting in Washington state, I have found a new site that is easily accessible and easily seen from a gravel road. There is only one Black Swift nest here at this waterfall, and the chick is getting near to fledging age; it will probably fledge about 10 September, guesstimate.
If you visit here, please be on your best American Birding Association code of ethics and do not disturb the bird with sounds, or camera flash, or climbing around on the cliffs to get closer!

Location: Lennox Ridge Falls, near to Skykomish, King County, WA. Directions: Turn off Hwy 2 onto the Old Cascades Hwy at signs pointing to Money Creek Campground, which is just under three miles west of Skykomish and about ten miles east of Index. After a mile turn right onto Miller River Road, then in another 300 feet turn right again onto Money Creek Road, and follow it for 4.6 miles to where the falls are visible to the left. A small pullout on the opposite side of the road provides room for 2 cars, and there is further parking 300 feet up the road. Money Creek Road is known for washouts, but current conditions are good for low clearance cars if you drive with care. When you are standing on the road looking across Money Creek at the waterfall, you may find a cairn. At this point you can see the falling water of Lennox Ridge Falls, and the black swift can be plainly seen with 10 x binoculars. That is, I can see the bird but I have a refined search image. You should bring your spotting scope and come in morning light on a sunny day if you want photos and digiscoping. Forget about your SLR camera for this site, it is just too far away. digiscoping is the only option. To find the nest, you will have to look carefully, as these birds are well hidden even if in the open. The chick is dark gray with white feather edgings, and the wingtips look like little white chevrons cause of the edging. So to the details…you’re there on the road with your tripod and scope, looking at the falling water. Look along the cliff left of the falling water, just a little bit above eye level from where you stand on the road. The nest is right below a maidenhair fern clump, under a rock roof that forms and upward pointing V shape….Any more directions would take the fun of the search away and the thrill of victory when you see it. I can email a photo with the location circled if necessary. Please remember, do not cross money creek and get closer—the viewing angle gets worse and we cant have disturbance that close to the nest. Thanks. Please let me know what you see, I would like to keep track of the fledging date. I was there 28 Aug 2018.—Eric Horvath, horvath at pioneer.net <mailto:horvath at pioneer.net>

A fat chick was seen on the nest a couple das ago.

Larry Schwitters
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