Central CA birders under the direction of Steve Lombardi had eyes on the sky every week end in both migrations at Pinnacles National Monument. While there were some Vaux's Swifts seen, the idea that there is a major roost site somewhere in the rocks now seems unlikely.
After a couple years absence the swifts are back in downtown Los Angeles. Thousands were observed feeding on insects over the LA River near the train station. Long Beach Auduboner Lindsay Fitch and friend made two trips into the downtown area to find the birds. The birds were located, but their roost site was not. One likely suspect is a big old brick chimney that has "The Brewery" painted on it. We hope to do some team work with the nearby Debs Audubon Center on this.
It was a good year for Vaux's Happening in California.
Nicole Nielsen-Pincus of Eugene took on the responsibility of coordinating an early May Saturday big day for her state; She would get a lot of people involved.
We also got Portland Audubon interested in the northbound migration. They would come up with a totally new site in Oregon City.
Bill Welch, who has a great back deck view of the Chapman chimney, would prove to be a reliable and enthusiastic counter for the project.
Vaux’s Happening sent emails out to all 65 British Columbia Christmas Bird Count Compilers looking for help locating migratory roost sites. We got enough responses (48) to believe that there must be enough big roost trees left in the great white north that brick chimneys weren’t necessary. Vaux’s Happening came away with only two historic sites. One was in the very NW corner of the province and the other in the SE.
Irene Manning had just started researching Vaux’s Swifts for the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program in Nelson, BC. Vaux’s Happening’s good timing and Karma continues.
British Columbia Update
Exciting news this summer out of Canada.
Irene Manning had a successful nesting in one of her man made nest boxes. We believe this is a first for the species outside of Evelyn Bull's efforts in NE Oregon.
The birds do get up there, but we couldn’t dig up a roost site.
Vaux’s Happening set its goal as a global May 2, 2009 everybody counts big day. After that we would get as many May Saturday counts from as many different sites as we could. Our results are displayed here.
Numbers were way down at several long time historic sites, but a great new one was discovered on Fort Lewis Military property. Nice shot of 900 swifts in action in this Greg Falxa photo. We're making plans to pay a lot of attention to this handsome old smoke stack come migration time.
Photo by Greg Falxa, Fort Lewis, WA, 2009