Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

MDAS Field Trip — Vaux’s Swifts at McNear Brickyard

September 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Vaux’s Swifts migrate south along the Pacific Americas Flyway each fall, and one of their few known stopping points in Northern California is McNear Brick and Block in San Rafael. At sunset on many September and October evenings, as many as 20,000 swifts mass and fly into the decommissioned brickyard chimneys to spend the night. It’s an unforgettable sight!

Although this trip is timed for the height of the swifts’ migration, based on past years’ counts the number of swifts can vary greatly from night to night, and can range from a few hundred to thousands. Like everything else in birding, there are no guarantees!

Spotting scopes are helpful, to better view the action around the chimney mouths. Photographers will be challenged as sunset nears (7:10 pm on the night of our field trip.) Given the time of day, it is OK to bring snacks as well as water. However, this is a birding event, not a picnic, so please don’t bring an elaborate spread. There are no restroom facilities on site.

Hike Rating: 1 – Stationary. People who find a portable stool or lawn chair helpful can bring one.
Elevation change: N/A
Leader: Maureen Lahiff, , 510.484.6529

Meeting point and Directions will be sent by email before the trip. Carpooling is strongly encouraged since there is very little parking.To respect both the swifts and the McNear property owners, this trip is limited to 20 participants. All Field Trips are first-registered, first-served. Participants acknowledge the MDAS Liability Waiver (available during registration).

Register HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vauxs-swifts-tickets-695145497897

(Vaux’s Swifts photo via Wikicommons)


September 20
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Categories:


Maureen Lahiff


McNear Brickyard
1 McNear Brickyard Rd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
+ Google Map