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Date:         Sun, 24 Apr 2005 17:28:18 -0400
Reply-To:     Bradley J Bergstrom <bergstrm@VALDOSTA.EDU>
Sender:       Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Bradley J Bergstrom <bergstrm@VALDOSTA.EDU>
Subject:      both kites, Y-C Night-Heron, last of season...
Content-type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

This rare, crisp spring day, while searching for non-resident Neotrops at Langdale Park along the Withlacoochee River (which were few--see below), I did find two surprises. First, I watched a Swallow-tailed Kite circling a bend in the river for about 15 min. Jaret Johnson reported a Swallow-tailed Kite 13 days ago circling a developed area of Valdosta 2 miles east of the river. There seems to be an increasing number of sightings in the area in the past few years. This one may be a nester.

BTW, Margaret found our FOTS Mississippi Kite soaring over the backyard on Friday, Apr. 22, nice Earth Day present.

The other Langdale Park surprise and also a first for the park list was a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron deep into the floodplain forest in an area nearly inaccessible due to flooding.

As for non-breeding Neotrops, only a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers, though a sizeable one, all softly singing and about half sporting bright alternate plumage. Since these have been scarce the last two weeks, I presume this was a vagrant flock from farther south. In the same category, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets calling and singing, sounds also not heard locally in the past couple of weeks.

Other notes: since the Orchard Orioles arrived about a week or so ago, Baltimore Orioles have not been apparent. A virtually daily feeder bird since mid-September, Baltimores officially made it a 7-month continuous stay with a last sighting April 14. One of the longest backyard wintering birds, rivalling Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Cedar Waxwings (flocks of the latter still here).

The plague numbers of American Robins in the coastal plain this winter seemed to have rapidly dwindled to near zero by late March.

Brad Bergstrom Valdosta, GA

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