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Mississippi Kite

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  • Jim Gain
    Mike Cummins and I headed down to look for the Mississippi Kite reported a couple of days ago. From Hwy 43 south of Corcoran we turned east onto a dirt road
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 8, 2005
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      Mike Cummins and I headed down to look for the Mississippi Kite reported a
      couple of days ago. From Hwy 43 south of Corcoran we turned east onto a dirt
      road that runs along the north side of Tule River. That is about 1 mile
      south of Ave 144. We joined two other birders from Visalia that had been
      there for a while without finding the bird. We drove east and then north
      along the dirt road that runs along the river up to the red race car
      mentioned by Mike San Miguel. At that point we got out and walked around for
      the better part of an hour and the other couple left before Mike and I did.
      We then continued along the dirt road until it came out onto Ave 144. We
      refound the Visalia couple there and chatted some more. They mentioned that
      they had seen a kite hovering in the distance, but that it went below the
      trees. After some more fruitless looking, Mike and I headed east and scanned
      the treeline as we crept along. About 1/3 mile east of Tule River we got on
      the Mississippi Kite as it was hovering and then flutter-dropped down
      decending on some prey and dropped below the treeline again. Just before it
      dropped out of sight I got a very good look at the heavily brick red
      spotted/barred chest and under wing linings. The wings were kind of shaped
      like a Swainson's Hawk, only narrower and the tail was dark brown with light
      bands. The back was dark gray with a hint of rufous at the base of the
      primaries. I didn't think juvs had that feature, but this one definitely
      showed some. We quickly made a U-Turn and raced back to find the Visalia
      couple. We caught up with them and went back to the spot where we saw the
      kite. Unfortunately we were not able to refind it after at least an hour of
      looking. Mike and I then headed down to look for the Golden-Plovers and then
      on to the Kern NWR. On the way back we looked again for the kite without
      success.



      Other birds of local interest:

      Kent Ave Ponds in Kings County - Snowy Plovers (3), Semipalmated Plovers
      (2), Red-necked Phalaropes (3)

      Hwy 43, 1 mile south of Virginia Ave, Kings County - Semipalmated Plover
      (1), Caspian Terns (8)

      Kern NWR - Peregrine Falcon - imm.



      Jim Gain

      Modesto



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