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Vaux’s Swifts Roost Site (San Rafael)

September 22 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Vaux’s Swifts migrate south along the Pacific Flyway each fall, and one of their few known stopping points in Northern California is a brickyard in San Rafael. At sunset on many September and October evenings, as many as 19,000 Vaux’s Swifts mass together, form a vortex, and then fly into the decommissioned brickyard chimneys to spend the night. It’s an unforgettable sight!

Audubon volunteers discovered this overnight roost several years ago and now work with other volunteers and brickyard management to allow birders onto their facility to monitor the numbers of roosting swifts. Once in the brickyard, there cannot be any wandering from our designated watch area. Bringing your own scope is suggested. This site can be windy and cold, so bring a jacket for comfort. There are no restroom facilities on site.

Because this is private property and we rely on the brickyard’s generosity to allow viewing, we have a strict limit of 20 people for this trip. Absolutely no drop-ins or extra guests. 

Leader: Rich Cimino, yellowbilledtours@gmail.com  (925) 353-0266 and Janet Bodle.

This trip is free but advance registration is required. Registration will open on Wednesday, September 8th at 10 a.m. and close on Monday, Sept. 20th at 4 p.m..  Registered participants will receive directions to the site in their confirmation email.

Please note the public health guidelines for this trip, as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Trip is limited to 20 participants, plus the leaders. There will not be a waiting list.
  • Participants must register online and acknowledge acceptance of our liability waiver. Each person must register separately. No “drop ins,” please.

This trip is now FULL. You may click here to register for a waiting list in case of cancellations.

Thank you for your flexibility in helping us ensure that everyone remains healthy!


September 22
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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