Black Swifts and Black Rail

From: Mike San Miguel
Remote Name:
Date: 08/07/02
Time: 09:30 PM


Hi all,

This morning I birded Cartago Ponds, Dirty Socks Springs and Owens Lake (Keeler Ponds). I Found a few of black things with wings including 4 Black Swifts at close range foraging over Cartago Ponds at about 7:20 this morning. They were there for about 10 minutes and probably were Sierra Nevada nesters collecting food to take back to their nests. A summering female Canvasback and two Baird's Sandpipers were there too.

At Dirty Socks Springs I flushed and watched a Black Rail fly from the small ditch that connects the springs to the large pond. It landed in scurpus at the edge of the pond. It could be either a local bird or migrant, but I lean toward it being local. It seems to be bit on the early side for a migrant. There is extensive scurpus and fresh surface water. I told Tom and Jo about the bird and met them there at about noon. They had been there for over an hour when I arrived but had no luck refinding the bird before leaving about the same time as did I. They pointed out a Solitary Sandpiper I had missed earlier

After Dirty Socks Springs I birded the Keeler Ponds for about two hours before returning to meet Tom and Jo. I estimated about 3,000 birds, mostly American Avocets and Wilson's Phalaropes but plenty of peeps to look at too.

Mike San Miguel