Date: 7/13/17 10:20 pm
From: Eric Horvath <horvath...>
Subject: [obol] Salt Creek Falls, Black Swifts
12 July 2017: 5 Black Swifts at Salt Creek Falls on hwy 58 out of Eugene. Birding with Claire Smith, Ron & Nancy Kopitke.

Evening watch from 7:15 PM onwards: the Black Swifts appeared first at 8:17PM. Last seen in the sky at 8:52 PM.
at 9:16 PM (dark but not pitch) one adult Black Swift roosting on the cliff to the right of the water as you look at it, in a place 1/3 of the way down with maidenhair ferns around.
I looked for nests but could not find any, and looked again on the morning of the 13th, but I found no nests and the site of the roosting bird had no egg and no adult. This year there is more water going over the cliff, so the obscured area is bigger. This waterfall is difficult to thoroughly search since one has to scan from so very far away and there are really only 3 spots to easily scan from. The nest ledge where there was a nest 5 years ago is empty this year.
Plenty of ferns and saxifrages and grass obscure some of the niches.

Best bets for seeing Black Swifts here in mid summer: arrive before sunset and sit at the upper (main) viewpoint and scan the sky. Expect the Black Swifts to show up when the sun sinks so low that you are finally in shadow at the viewpoint. You can also see them anytime, even midday, but the evening is a bit more reliable.

If any on OBOL have seen a Black Swift on a nest in Oregon at a site other than Salt Creek Falls, please let me know. By my reckoning, this is still the only site in Oregon where nesting Black Swifts have been photographed on the nest.

Thank you to the observers who have posted their sightings on ebird!

—Eric Horvath
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