A Hungarian immigrant who speaks several languages, I am a birder (birdwatcher to you laymen), in Los Angeles. I spent years working the weekends in a local emergency room, where I x-rayed rude drunk people, kids who fell off their bikes, and people who have had heart attacks. You will never catch me without my binoculars, a Swiss Army Knife, compass, and a flashlight. When I'm not birding, I write fiction.
Friday, June 22, 2012
How to find the Claremont Black Swifts
Follow the written directions to get to this spot on Cobal Canyon Road, and look in this direction: east. Keep staring at the swallows as they emerge over this ridge. The Black Swifts will emerge for 10 to 20 seconds at a time, then duck back down beyond the ridge. Tonight, 22 June, 2012 they were only seen once for literally 2 or 3 seconds beyond this ridge at 6:15 p.m.. We had better views 100 feet uphill i.e. up the road. At this spot, there is less sky available to the east, but the Black Swifts were visible more often, and were closer.
Earlier, at 5:45 p.m British birder Craig Chernos and I first spotted the Black Swifts from this spot, much higher up the fire road. This spot is several hundred yards further up Cobal Canyon Road. This is a hairpin curve in the road. As you stand here,looking down on Claremont, hikers who are walking uphill are arriving from your right, and crossing to your left. Stand at the edge, and stare at the swallow flock that is above the left peak. On the one hand, you can get extensive views of Black Swifts. On the other hand, they are really far away, not even visible to the naked eye.