Wednesday, 30 April 2003, This evening I observed several hundred Vaux's Swift's feeding over Friedman Bros., the 101 freeway, and the adjacent pear orchard on the east side of the freeway. I was even more impressed with the numbers as I drove through Ukiah and saw swifts everywhere... all the way to Perkins and Dora. At 8:00 PM I returned to this area to show the swift's to my son, Ryan. There were even more swifts and they were congregating on the west side of Dora and Perkin. As I turned west on Perkins Street off of Dora I noticed that some of the birds were intently swooping over the chimney of the Silver Birches Residential Care Home on the SE corner of Perkins and Hortense. We parked and proceeded to watch an estimated 3000 swifts congregate in circling and twittering formations. About half seemed to split off and go elsewhere. But about 1000 to 1500 birds finally funnelled down into the chimney at around 8:20 PM. They were all in (except for a very few stragglers) within 60 seconds. I was trying to pick out any bulkier-looking swifts that may be Chimney Swifts but could not pick out any different from the norm. These birds may use this roost for several nights until they continue north to whatever coniferous forest is their nesting home where they will pair up to nest in individual cavities.
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