RE: [CVBirds] Mississippi Kite
- I think it is best that I back off my claim of Mississippi Kite. After I
posted the email and re-read it, I began to question whether or not I didn't
actually see a Swainson's Hawk. And now that I've double-checked my email
I've read several with questions about my description. I have to suspect
that I might have seen a juv Swainson's Hawk instead. I sincerely apologize
and hope that no one takes off to find it based upon my mistaken
In Modesto eating crow.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jim Gain
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 5:00 PM
Subject: [CVBirds] Mississippi Kite
My Outlook isn't working right so I am posting this through the
website. You may get it again if my Outlook decides to kick in.
Sorry in advance if it does.
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.
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