RE: [CALBIRDS] Which swift in LaCanada?
In early November you really only have two choices -- the two species you mentioned. And since the fall passage of Vaux's has essentially passed, any Vaux's flocks now are likely to be wintering (such winter flocks are most often encountered around riverbottoms in the San Gabriel Valley but also locally in the L. A. basin, coast, and other valleys).
I'm not sure how you eliminated White-throated (by far the most likely species) -- in the distance in many lighting conditions you can watch White-throateds for a long time and not see any white on them. In those situations they are best identified by their shape -- long wings appearing to be inserted far foreward on the body, and a fairly long tail usually carried in a point or double point (but can be fanned to the point of looking square). White-throated Swifts are especially numerous in the La Canada area -- the 2/210 interchange is great for them, and that's only about a mile from Descanso Gardens. I don't believe there are any records of the other two swift species in the Los Angeles region in November.
I don't know if the above is of any help, but in any case, thanks for posting something actually about birds and birding instead of about listserve regulations! As to the other discussion raging on Calbirds, I have just two words: "delete key."
Kimball L. Garrett
Section of Ornithology
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Kay Loughman
Sent: Sat 11/3/2007 2:15 PM
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Which swift in LaCanada?
I am visiting in southern California and was birding this morning at
Descanso Gardens in LaCanada. Saw a large number of swifts, very high
up. They didn't appear to be White-throated, and weren't as fluttery as
I expect for Vaux. Can someone local suggest what species is most
likely there? Thanks,
usually in Berkeley
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