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More Kites and Scissor-tails Near Uniontown (AL 61 & Red Bamberg Road)

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  • Jud Johnston
    I spent the weekend in Demopolis, and expected to see Greg Harber s annual BAS kite trip report in my inbox when I returned to Waynesboro. Not finding it, I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2012
      I spent the weekend in Demopolis, and expected to see Greg Harber's annual BAS kite trip report in my inbox when I returned to Waynesboro. Not finding it, I will at least partially fill the void.

      Sylvia and I traveled to Winfield Saturday on family business, and decided to return to Demopolis via AL 61 in hopes of spotting a swallow-tailed kite, which she had not seen this year. Alas, it was about 4 PM when we arrived at the 3 bridges area. I felt it would be too late for kites; indeed there wasn't even anything at the lagoon west of the 3d bridge. I did pick up one kite about a mile east, but couldn't see it with the unaided eye.
      We doubled back to Mile Marker 9, where I had seen a few kites Tuesday, but no luck there either. Headed back south, I spotted a SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER on a power line adjacent to the B-R Ranch driveway. We turned around for a closer look, and refound it on the fence along the drive. Headed back to Demopolis for the night, making another empty pass through the three bridges along the way.

      On Sunday, we had better luck. Sylvia spotted a LITTLE BLUE HERON on the east side of the bridge over the lagoon; and later, while we observed about 200 cattle egrets at the lagoon, a squadron of about 20 large brown-winged birds flew in, which we soon realized were immature WHITE IBIS. Shortly thereafter, I spotted a bare-limbed tree about a mile east with a dozen or two WOOD STORKS in it. Feeling the kites were also east of us, we headed down Red Bamberg Road. I caution you against driving your Ferrari down this road.

      Maybe a mile down the road, we found a man on a tractor in a pasture, being attended by a cloud of kites. We never ascertained exactly what he was doing, but it was evidently stirring up the large insects. We had great looks at at least a dozen SWALLOW-TAILED KITES, and quite a few MISSISSIPPI KITES as well. Several swooped low enough to afford a view of the gorgeous gray-black plumage on the dorsal side. Many oohs and aahs. Finally the tractor moved off, and the kites became less visible. We motored east and , in about a half mile, discovered yet another SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER ten feet from the road. We continued to the end of RB Road and followed AL 183 into Uniontown, and headed west on U.S. 80 toward Demopolis for some well-deserved lunch. We were not totally done with kites for the day, however. About halfway between Gallion and Demopolis, we spotted a lone SWALLOW-TAILED KITE cruising the shoulder of U.S. 80.. This was about a quarter mile east of Mt. Olive Baptist church.

      Good birding,

      Jud Johnston
      Waynesboro, TN / Demopolis

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