[CT Birds] Mississippi Kite- Quaker Ridge

streatham2003 at aol.com streatham2003 at aol.com
Wed Sep 28 19:35:22 EDT 2011

 Hi All,

As with previous less than ideal days, there were hawks moving again at Quaker Ridge today on E to SE winds. A total of 44 on the day which wasn't quite as good as yesterday but quality rather than quantity was the story of the day. About 11am whilst I was following a Kestrel a raptor popped into view almost directly over the building. Whilst being large and having a falconlike shape its stalling in flight gave me an immediate clue as to the identity which was confirmed by a flared flared squared off tale and long, thin wings. Lighting conditions were poor making viewing plumage and therefore aging difficult but my best guess was an immature or subadult bird. Aging Mississippi Kites seems fairly complex to me at the best of times with good lighting. Anyway the Kestrel turned back to check it out and then they both disappeared heading Southwest. 

I had tried to call Brian during this short appearance but he was on a call. We decided to try chase the bird down just for fun but although we had one interesting bird whilst traveling (with someone stuck right on our tail) down King Street we didn't manage to relocate the Kite. Given that the rain came down 20 minutes or so after the first sighting and continued on and off all day it may still be in the general vicinity? Who knows? I feel kind of lucky to have managed to get MIKI at the hawkwatch in both spring and fall migration this year, although had the weather been better today I might have bothered to bring the camera out and had some nice pictures. C'est la vie.

The rest of the day was pretty ordinary apart from the three Greater Yellowlegs that flew SE over the watch at about 4:15pm just as I was about to give up on the day.

I hope to see some of you down at the watch this weekend for the Hawkwatch Festival - I can't guarantee you another kite but it should be a fun day nonetheless.

Luke Tiller, Greenwich

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