4 Black Swifts and Olive-sided Flycatcher on Deep Wells Road

Observers: Justin Hite and Paul McFarland
Email: justinhiteatgmaildotcom
Verification: MONO
Remote Name:
Date: 08/07/2008
Time: 01:21 PM -0400


On August 6 Paul and I drove up Deep Wells Road which passes through the ancient valley carved by Ice Age Mono Lake as it spilled out into Adobe Valley. While watching a group of Common Nighthawks, we were startled to see some large swifts swooping around above them. At first we assumed White-throated, but when we looked with bins we saw that they were entirely black. They were slow flapping, very large (with CONIs to help judge size), square-tailed, and slow flapping, with a great boomerang-shaped profile in still flight. After a few minutes of swirling around, the 4 Black Swifts slipped away to the east. A bit later, on a plateau of sagebrush and isolated Pinyons we found a single Olive-sided Flycatcher very much in non-standard habitat sitting on top of a Pinyon snag. Also had many big groups of Pinyon Jays, a few Gray Flycatchers, tons of Sage Thrashers and Sage Sparrows, and a possible Juniper Titmouse glimpsed while driving. And a wonderful storm to watch too.