Date: 5/26/19 12:58 pm From: <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] Black Swift west of Corvallis/Philomath
While staking out a Vesper Sparrow nest around 9 AM this morning, on a cattle ranch out in the Wren/Cardwell Hill area west of Corvallis and Philomath, I saw a BLACK SWIFT foraging over the area.
Initially I thought it was a Vaux's Swift just from its scimitar-like shape while gliding, but then noticed the more substantial tail (fanned out occasionally), very dark coloration, and the slower wing beats, tipping from side to side as it flew.
It stayed in view at ranges of 100 m to 500 m for 2-3 minutes, so I started to look around to see if there were any others nearby. It seemed to be on its own, and did not vocalize. Eventually it headed north in the direction of the Blakesley Creek drainage.
At this and other monitoring sites along the edge of the Coast Range, we've been hearing and occasionally seeing Purple Martins, which can look similar to Black Swifts but have somewhat longer, forked tails and more swallow-like, less stiff wing beats.
An adult RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was also lurking around the area, being pestered by a variety of small songbirds.