Re: Mississippi Kite at Furnace Creek Ranch

Observers: Justin Hite
Email: jmh58@cornell.edu
Remote Name: 209.179.141.25
Date: 05/30/2005
Time: 09:06 PM -0400

Sighting

Today is my birthday, and since Iím working at the Amargosa and am alone, I had been wondering what kind of hike or birding trip Iíd treat myself to today. The Mississippi Kite post last night made the decision for me. Spent a beautiful night on the salt flats below sea level, and then sat down this morning under a Date Palm at FCR with a good book and a cup of coffee to wait for the Kite to appear. At 8:07 I looked up from The God of Small Things and it was gracefully and effortlessly soaring a few hundred meters south of me. I smiled a True Happiness Smile, and went over to the south edge of FCR and watched it for more than an hour. A beautiful second year bird, with rusty speckled underwing coverts, thinly white-barred tail, a deep gray mantle, and a light gray head. It spent most of its time soaring, but would intermitently perch in the Athel Tamarisks. I took a few pictures, only one of which turned out, though itís still blurry and from quite a distance.