Black Swift in Trinity County
- I observed a BLACK SWIFT on Friday May 4, 2012 at 1:15 PM as follows:
Due to a multi auto accident on Hwy 299 going west I was stopped dead
center on the bridge over Big French Creek in Trinity County.
This area is half mile east of Del Loma Camp grounds using the Northern
California De Lorme Gazetteer.
Again Using the De Lorme Gazetteer you can follow the creek to it's
source which is in the Thurston Peaks area, which is part of Lime Stone
Ridge, in the Salmon Mountains.
I notice many Tree, Violet Greens, a few Northern Rough winged Swallows
in the air, then I noticed a Vaux's Swift @ this point I exited my vehicle.
The Vaux's Swift was in clear view when a larger swift crossed my view,
at first I though maybe it was a Purple Martin.
When I re-located the larger bird it surprized me, because it was Black
It was feeding over the creek to the south east of a small stand of
cotton wood tree.
With my position on the curvature / blanking of the road the sun was
behind me allowing for wonderful observation, larger in size ( using a
Vaux's on site for comparison ), longer wings, and wider wings at the
base, dark coloring, while in dives the tucked forked tail showed nicely.
At several times the BLSW came directly over the bridge where I was
standing, which made me wonder if the heat from all the idling engines (
26 cars and truck stopped) was creating some phenomenon of insect hatch
or the engine generated heat felt good.
At 1:30 PM the BLSW flew into ( disappeared out of sight ) the southwest
facing cottonwood crown branches where it spent seconds ( less than
thirty seconds - but long enough to think I lost the bird totally).
It then re-appeared with two more BLSW's as they continue to feed over
the river to the southeast.
Total observation time was 21 minutes.
Total three Black Swifts seen.
Other swallows and Vaux's swift all remained in the air in numbers to
compliment the visual assessment of the BLSW configuration, flight
behavior and coloring.
Alameda County, California
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