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August 19, 2016 [LINK / comment]
Mississippi Kite in Staunton
Sometimes I drive for 30 miles or more in search of some rare bird that somebody spotted, and sometimes (such as when I saw a Western Tanager in March 2004), a rare bird pays a visit right here in our back yard. While I was reading the newspaper this morning, Jacqueline was watering our plants outside and asked me for the binoculars. She said she saw some strange-looking big bird in the tree tops, so I figured I ought to take a look. Indeed, it was not a hawk but a different kind of raptor. The whitish head and mascara-like dark-shadowed eyes left little doubt that it was a Mississippi Kite! It flew away briefly, but fortunately then returned to a tree top branch, enabling me to get a better look. The morning light was perfect for a photo:
Mississippi Kite (juvenile), in the north part of Staunton, August 19.
The mottled rufous feathers in the breast indicate that it was not an adult. I thought perhaps it might be a second-year ("subadult") bird, but others who have seen the photo say that it is a juvenile. The last time I saw a Mississippi Kite was two years ago, on July 3, 2014 in Salina, Kansas. I was with my Dad at St. John's Military School, of which he was an alumnus. Actually, there were two such birds: a male circling above, and a female brooding in her nest up in a big tree. I also saw one near Dodge City the day before. [Mississippi Kites are most prevalent in the south-central plains, and their breeding range extends east from Texas across the lower Mississippi Delta through Georgia and South Carolina, with scattered populations elsewhere. After breeding season ends, the juveniles tend to disperse into interior regions, much like Great Egrets and White Ibises.]
Other bird news
Yesterday, Jacqueline and I drove up to Bridgewater, but I couldn't find the White Ibis which I had seen last week, and which was reported to be lingering in that area for a few more days. I did see an immature Bald Eagle fly directly overhead, however. At Leonard's Pond there were a dozen or so Killdeers plus a solitary Solitary Sandpiper.
On August 14, Jacqueline and I went hiking in the Shenandoah National Park, along the Appalachian Trail from Blackrock Gap to Blackrock, which is a pile of boulders with some great views toward the north and west. There weren't many birds that (very hot) day, but we did see a couple Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Cedar Waxwing, Red-eyed Vireo, and a couple Eastern Towhee. (See the montage on the Wild Birds yearly photo gallery page. I'll make a separate blog post with photos of mushrooms and scenery.) Around Blackrock, our destination, there were quite a few Barn Swallows swooping around.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 19 Aug 2016, 3: 43 PM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 10, 2016 ~ Cooperstown calls Griffey, Piazza
January 17, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland (& Bath!) County
January 21, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Glenn Frey
January 26, 2016 ~ Sweet Briar College is saved!
January 31, 2016 ~ Presidential campaign begins
February 6, 2016 ~ Fall bird migration season 2015
February 20, 2016 ~ Life bird: Virginia Rail!
February 21, 2016 ~ 2016 primaries: populists propel polarization
March 10, 2016 ~ Yes, another Wrigley Field update!
March 26, 2016 ~ Trump triumphs, Republican Party implodes
April 4, 2016 ~ Opening Day(s) in America, 2016! (& Sportsman's Park update)
April 18, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Alan L. Clem
April 21, 2016 ~ Flying out to So. Dak. (& back)
April 30, 2016 ~ Trump & Clinton take commanding leads
April 30, 2016 ~ Migration season reaches peak
May 7, 2016 ~ Trump secures victory; Sanders fights on
May 21, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Reddish Knob
June 7, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland County
June 9, 2016 ~ FOD [first-of-decade] Prothonotary Warblers!
June 14, 2016 ~ Birding on Hite Hollow Road
June 16, 2016 ~ Holy $#!+ -- Nationals win big showdown with Cubs
July 1, 2016 ~ Nationals sweep the Mets, widen NL East lead
July 3, 2016 ~ Kentucky Warblers, and more!
July 8, 2016 ~ Soras breeding in the Valley!
July 13, 2016 ~ Redistricting reform movement is growing
July 16, 2016 ~ The Nationals' starting rotation
August 5, 2016 ~ New page: Stadium profiles!
August 7, 2016 ~ Magical mushroom tour*
September 7, 2016 ~ To the northeast: Baseball road trip, 2016
September 18, 2016 ~ East by Northeast: Big city scenery travelogue
September 25, 2016 ~ Nationals win National League East Division
September 27, 2016 ~ Lucky! 13 warblers on Betsy Bell Hill
October 2, 2016 ~ Nationals' regular season ends on a high note
October 5, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park birding (II)
October 14, 2016 ~ Nationals flinch, Dodgers advance to NLCS
October 14, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park getaway
October 16, 2016 ~ World War II aircraft show (II)
October 25, 2016 ~ Holy cow: Cubs beat Dodgers, win NL pennant!
November 3, 2016 ~ The Cubs win the World Series!!!
November 4, 2016 ~ New month arrives, & new birds too
November 6, 2016 ~ Campaign 2016 grinds to a nasty, ugly end
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)