Vaux's Swifts in Healdsburg
- On Wed. 9/18 I visited the Rio Linda Academy just outside of Healdsburg to
view the Vaux's Swifts as, in their thousands, they swirled through the
evening skies and then at dusk descended into a large brick chimney to roost
for the night. It is an incredible sight that anyone with even a smidgeon of
interest in the natural world would be thrilled at seeing. This is an annual
event occuring over a couple of weeks in mid September so the time to visit
I arrived at 6:30pm with hundred of Swifts circling above the Academy. That
was nice but the numbers increased dramatically in the next 1/2 hour and
from 7:00 until they entered the chimney at 7:30pm the number of birds and
the aeronautics were awesome.
To get there coming from the north on Hwy 101:
Probably the best route is to continue past the first two Healdsburg exits,
cross the Russian River and take the next (Old Redwood Hwy) exit. Go left
crossing to the east side of the freeway and proceed back northeast on
Healdsburg Ave. Continue north east until you reach Bailhache Drive.
There is also a sign for Rio Linda Academy at that
intersection. Turn right onto Bailhache and drive east , along the south-
eastern bank of the Russian River to the Academy, about 3 1/2 miles. Upon
entering the campus (a Seventh Day Adventist High School) keep to the left
and drive behind the classroom and dorm buildings. You will then have the
Gymnasium and large athletic field on your left. Just past the athletic
field is a red brick maintainence building with a large brick chimney - not
tall but wide.
You can park across from the maintainence bldg.
The Academy is very gracious in allowing the public to view
this wonderful spectacle, and they only ask that visitors be on their good
- I was very surprised to spot 2 large flocks of geese
(Canada?) migrating South last evening (9/20) at dusk
on a very warm evening. I have never seen so many
birds, (around 200 total) heading South when it is
still officially Summer. It is usually mid-October
when I see them passing overhead here NW of Willits.
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- Sun, 17 Oct, 2009 - This morning, I saw a minima Cackling Goose
with eight White-fronted Geese on the beach at Howard Creek. This
is along Hwy 1 north of Westport a few miles.
There were almost no land birds at the creeks.
Fort Bragg, CA
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