Date: 5/19/17 5:09 am From: stan arnold <thrushhost...> Subject: [MDBirding] Swallow-tailed Kite--AA County...
...and SO close to being a yard bird
During migration I make regular short walks through North Glen Park, which is a rather small place with ball fields and a small patch of woods that's less than a half mile from my house. While in a parking area, at 7:14 a.m., I put my bins on a flyover, and was astounded to be looking at a stunning Swallow-tailed Kite, heading north. It was quite low, not more than about 100 feet up, giving me a perfect look at the white underside, edged in black, and unmistakable forked tail. I do not remember EVER, either in Florida or Mississippi (where I've seen many of these) having a better look at this bird.
It was heading generally towards our yard, so I called Elaine and told her where to look, but sadly she was inside and upstairs when she got the call, and couldn't respond in time. Nevertheless, unless the bird made a precipitous turn, I am certain that it would have been visible from somewhere in our yard, had there been someone there to view it.
This is only my third STKI in Maryland, the first being at Hughes Hollow in 2009, and the second being at Swan Creek in 2011.
Oh, and btw, this has been the worst spring migration ever in our yard. I think eight species of warbler so far, when I'm accustomed to about 20 by this point in time. At least I'm currently being serenaded by a Swainson's Thrush, here for a second day, and our recent two-day visit by a White-crowned Sparrow was only our fourth record in the yard in 21 years. A couple of Rusty Blackbird sightings earlier in the year, and a Mississippi Kite yesterday (which is annual in our yard) sums up our spring excitement.
Stan Arnold Ferndale in AA Co.
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