Date: 6/16/20 12:50 am From: Matt Dufort <matt.dufort...> Subject: Re: [Tweeters] North Seattle Black Swifts
Bob et al.,
It's definitely weather related. Black Swifts are known to move to lowlands to forage when the weather is not good in the mountains, and they also often fly so high on clear days that they are very difficult to detect. The concentration over north Seattle today seems likely due to a large swarm of flying insects, as it was apparently pretty localized. I live just a few miles south of these reports, and saw 0 swifts despite scanning the sky in every direction multiple times while others were seeing them.
Regarding the high counts, those eBird numbers you listed are incorrect - I suspect they're based on the buggy / confusing "High Counts" interface in eBird. If you go to Explore a Region, then select High Counts, you'll get more reliable results. Washington has a previous count of 500 Black Swifts in eBird (here <https://ebird.org/checklist/S11801210>), as well as a report of 150 from earlier this year (here <https://ebird.org/checklist/S70247604>).
Black Swifts are amazing and enigmatic birds. It's always a thrill to see them.
Good birding, Matt Dufort
On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:00 PM Robert O'Brien <baro...> wrote: