[birding] Vaux's Swifts at old-growth site in western Cascades (Crabtree Lake)

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Wed Aug 14 20:51:53 PDT 2013

Hi all,

During a family visit today to Crabtree Lake (western Cascades of Linn
County, elevation 4000-some feet), we noticed that the sky was full of
VAUX'S SWIFTS. Hard to give a good estimate of numbers since our window
on the sky was limited, but I'd guess 30 to 50 swifts were feeding
overhead at 1:30 PM when we arrived.

This site has some nice old-growth Douglas-fir, hemlock and red-cedar
forest (including some of the oldest trees in Oregon, possibly around
1000 years old), with quite a few tall snags that could provide natural
nesting sites for Vaux's Swifts. So these could be locally nesting birds
rather than a migrant flock.

Otherwise bird activity was scant in the warm afternoon temperatures
(will post the full list on birdnotes.net but probably not until
tomorrow -- nothing too exciting other than the swifts). A group of
about 8 people young & old (from Oregon and Texas!) were using the lake
for paddling about in inflatable rafts and generally playing in the
water when we got there. A couple of MYSTERY DUCKS (Mallards or teal?)
were dabbling on Waterdog Marsh below the lake, too distant for me to
identify with binoculars. 

Happy birding,

Joel Geier
Camp Adair are north of Corvallis

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