Sunday, June 28, 2009


I took a walk on the dirt hiking trails of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, L.A. County, tonight (28 June 2009) between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. After parking in the fenced parking lot at 4031 N. Mills Ave, Claremont, CA 91711. I walked north on Cobal Canyon Road. The dirt roads inside the park have names, but they are fire roads, only—no civilian vehicle traffic. Around 200 yards north of the (currently dry) stream crossing, I observed a small number of Cliff and Violet-green Swallows, along with an all-dark swift. This aerial flock stayed to my east, putting them into good light (the afternoon sun in the west was to my back). I first saw this male Black Swift at 6:10 p.m., and after he disappeared further to the east of the trail, I continued my hike up the trail. Upon my return half an hour later, en route to my car, I again observed the Black Swift in the company of a White-throated Swift. The two flew on the same updraft, side-by-side, for very nice comparison views. The Cliff Swallow flock grew substantially in size by 6:50 p.m.

This area comprises riparian oak foothills at the base of Mount Baldy, which has waterfalls e.g. San Antonio Falls. Considering how far (30 miles) this location is from Santa Anita Canyon, above Arcadia, along with how late in the day it was, my impression is that this Black Swift is summering on Mount Baldy, and that return visits to this location at the same time of the early evening should produce views of this bird for others. If anybody should locate a waterfall in the vicinity where the bird is nesting, I would like to hear from them.

Also fun along the oak riparian trail were bountiful numbers of Phainopeplas, a Western Side-blotched Lizard, and a Mournful Duskywing. Who is the Claremont butterfly guru?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sightings of male and female Black Swifts continue through at least July 9th.