A SWIFT NIGHT OUT
2010
A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project
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INDIVIDUAL REPORTS

Chimney Swift Roosts Summary Waycross, GA 2002--2010


2002
Date: 9/3/2002
Number of Chimney Swifts Using Roost:
632
Location: Magnolia Court Apartments; in a block formed by the streets of Magnolia, Oneida, Hill, & Forest. Reference: DeLorme p. 61, E8.
Address:
Waycross, Ware Co., Georgia
Description: a tall (~60'), unused, staggered, brick chimney; residential area
Time: near sunset
Weather:
Observers: Sheila Willis
Comments:  The site is a small apartment complex that was built in the 1940's.
Detailed Description of September events: The hot, muggy day was coming to a close and the sky began to change from a clear blue to a mix of pinks & lavenders. Then, as if alerted by some silent signal, small numbers of birds appeared and congregated in a noisy, disorganized group. They flew hurriedly around over the complex and between the trees---a hyperactive flock of feathered energy.
 Soon more & more of their relatives joined them. They began to collect in a large, constantly revolving circle that now centered itself over the top of the chimney. Like the swirling eye of a hurricane.
 Then they began to periodically alternate the oval flight pattern with one of a gigantic figure-8. The sound was incredible! The sight was hypnotic as your eyes "traveled" with them & your world narrowed down to just that space above your head. What a trip!
 Sometimes they would all swing together in formation away from the chimney, then come right back. Imagine God "painting" a living, moving canvas with birds as brush strokes!
 Suddenly, a bird or two would peel off & shoot like a dark little bullet into the chimney. At first, none of the other birds seemed to notice, but then all at once a handful flung themselves down into the hole. That seemed to encourage another set to drop. And another. And another until the pace was fast & furious.
 All the while, other birds continued to arrive from outlying areas so that there was no shortage of birds to count. The chattering increased in volume & tempo. Blip, blip, blip. The new crowd imitated their cousins and entered the sanctuary.
 Then, as if by magic, the flock was gone! Everyone had finally taken their places for the night, except for a stray or two who just didn't want to give it up.
 It was now dark and silent except for a lyrical Mockingbird serenade punctuated by the single, raspy note of a Common Nighthawk. You ask yourself, "Did all that really just happen?" 

Date:
9/6/2002
Number of Chimney Swifts Using Roost:
1163
Location: Magnolia Court Apartments; in a block formed by the streets of Magnolia, Oneida, Hill, & Forest. Reference: DeLorme p. 61, E8.
Address:
Waycross, Ware Co., Georgia
Description: a tall (~60'), unused, staggered, brick chimney; residential area
Time: near sunset
Weather:
Observers: Sheila Willis
Comments: The site is a small apartment complex that was built in the 1940's.

Date:
9/8/2002
Number of Chimney Swifts Using Roost:
2295
Location: Magnolia Court Apartments; in a block formed by the streets of Magnolia, Oneida, Hill, & Forest. Reference: DeLorme p. 61, E8.
Address:
Waycross, Ware Co., Georgia
Description: a tall (~60'), unused, staggered, brick chimney; residential area
Time: near sunset
Weather:
Observers: Sheila Willis
Comments:  The site is a small apartment complex that was built in the 1940's.

Date:
9/15/2002
Number of Chimney Swifts Using Roosts:
2330
Location: Magnolia Court Apartments; in a block formed by the streets of Magnolia, Oneida, Hill, & Forest. Reference: DeLorme p. 61, E8.
Address:
Waycross, Ware Co., Georgia
Description: a tall (~60'), unused, staggered, brick chimney; residential area
Time: near sunset
Weather:
Observers: Sheila Willis
Comments:  The site is a small apartment complex that was built in the 1940's.

Date:
9/18/2002
Number of Chimney Swifts: 2511
Location: Magnolia Court Apartments; in a block formed by the streets of Magnolia, Oneida, Hill, & Forest. Reference: DeLorme p. 61, E8.
Address:
Waycross, Ware Co., Georgia
Description: a tall (~60'), unused, staggered, brick chimney; residential area
Time: near sunset
Weather:
Observers: Sheila Willis
Comments:  The site is a small apartment complex that was built in the 1940's.

2003
Date: week of 8/24/2003
Number of Chimney Swifts Using Roost: ~
200-300
Location: Magnolia Court Apartments; in a block formed by the streets of Magnolia, Oneida, Hill, & Forest. Reference: DeLorme p. 61, E8.
Address:
Waycross, Ware Co., Georgia
Description: a tall (~60'), unused, staggered, brick chimney; residential area
Time: around sunset; specifics not noted
Weather: not noted
Observers: June LaRoque
Comments:  The site is a small apartment complex that was built in the 1940's. This resident of complex did not do a formal count, but estimated 200-300 birds were using the roost.

September 2003: Besides the one count above done by June LaRoque in August, additional comprehensive surveys were done by Sheila Willis of Waycross, GA on Sept. 7, 8, 10, 16, and 17 at the site. Although varying low numbers of birds were seen circling over the roost around dusk, for most dates NONE entered or used the roost. On Sept. 16 one bird did briefly enter the roost but shortly exited it and was followed thereafter by another leaving from within. Total birds observed in the area were 33, 128, 127, 15, and 122 respectively. Conditions at those times varied from a light drizzle to clear skies, slight winds mostly from the North or Northeast, and temperatures in the high 70's to low 80's.

Therefore, for 2003, apparently the Chimney Swifts which used this chimney so commonly in years past, either made their greatest use of the site as a mass roosting site earlier in Aug. (at reduced numbers) and/or chose to utilize some other nearby haven in September for their migrating flock. I am not aware of any appropriately-sized chimney or other structure in other parts of the neighborhood that could accommodate the thousands that were in the area in 2002. The ones I did see obviously were on their way to some spot, but its location is a mystery to me.


2004
Date: 9/8/2004
Number of Chimney Swifts Using Roost:
"some"
Location: Magnolia Court Apartments; in a block formed by the streets of Magnolia, Oneida, Hill, & Forest. Reference: DeLorme p. 61, E8.
Address:
Waycross, Ware Co., Georgia
Description: a tall (~60'), unused, staggered, brick chimney; residential area
Time: near dusk
Weather: not noted
Observers: June LaRoque
Comments:  The site is a small apartment complex that was built in the 1940's. This apartment resident reported that "some" birds did enter the chimney roost.

September 2004: Besides the one count done by June LaRoque above, additional comprehensive surveys were done by Sheila Willis of Waycross, GA on Sept. 10 & 11 at the site. Although small numbers of birds were observed (10 & 45 respectively) circling over the site around dusk, NONE were observed entering the roost. Conditions at those times varied from rain to partly cloudy skies, no or little wind from the S/SE, and temperatures in the 70's.

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