Go Fly a Kite! Or See the Kite Fly....


Kingbird

Early Sunday morning, I headed out to the freeway and on to the interstate toward San Antonio [well, what OTHER way can I go on the interstate? If I headed in to old-town on the freeway, I'd end up driving into the GULF of Mexico...lol]. Anyway, about 10-15 miles up the highway I take the Sharpsburg exit to Pollywog Ponds. I had my camera and binoculars, but wasn't looking for any 'special' kind of bird, but hoping to see some on the two ponds and maybe, if lucky, along the Nueces river banks. Even by the early morning hour, it was hot and sultry. The air was very still, and the sun, streaming through the tree canopies was blinding white-hot already. Besides the few early birds singing: the kiskadees, the kingbirds, and doves, I was the only one on the path. At least I thought so. When I walk these wooded areas, I usually glance to the tree tops occasionally, looking for any sign of a hawk or birds of prey. And if you're a birder, you'll know just what I mean when you're out and about, that some of the high tree branches have a cluster of leaves drooping in the far distance, that can resemble a perched bird in the silhouette with no vision enhancing equipment. As I continued to walk in silence, I spotted just that...what I thought was a leaf cluster. The sun was behind it, dark shadow is all I saw. "It's just a group of leaves, Anni." I took a few more steps and thought, "It won't hurt to look through the binoculars."  Focusing on the object, and looking through the lenses, I realized it was THREE birds [yards away from where I stood on the trail].  And it so happened that those three birds were of a species I've been trying to locate and photograph them for over EIGHT YEARS with no luck.  Two adults and on another branch, the third one, what looked to be a fledged juvenile.  My heart was racing.  And since I stopped, the sweat  caused by the humidity began to pour off the top of my head onto my forehead and down into my eyes.  I was kinda miserable.  But after nearly a decade of searching for this bird species, even the persistent mosquitoes could've carried me off yonder and I wouldn't've  minded!  I wiped the perspiration off my face with my t-shirt and raised my camera.  I took one photo to show the distance from where I stood, and then I had to use the zoom lens.

Well, to make a long story shorter, I will say the lighting [with the sun BEHIND the birds] wasn't ideal for getting much detail on the birds' colors or features.  But, I got some identifying photos and maybe ONE good one that I can eventually use for my bird sanctuary frames I have hanging on my dining room walls.

I was so excited!!
By the way, the bird is very rare in South Texas, migrating through.  And it's called a Mississippi Kite! They are named "kites" because of their feeding habit...they are insectivores mainly and hunt on the wing...darting straight upward like a kite taking off in the wind..."kiting". I took a dozen photos or more to make sure I had ONE good one out of the effort -- will show more of them soon, on my birding blog.


The Mississippi Kites from the long Distance View
Pollywog Ponds
August 20, 2017
Near Calallen, Texas


Source: courtesy of Google Search & S. D. birding maps

35 comments :

  1. Now that's commitment. I look forward to more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you'll have to use the sidebar link for more to come at my birding blog. Soon. Thanks Mr. B

      Delete
  2. Wish I had your energy. Always enjoy the adventure of the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must admit....some days it's a FORCED energy. "Gotta get out and do things". lol Thanks LV

      Delete
  3. TWO of them and they are huge! Can't wait to see the rest of the pictures on your other blog! I would have mistaken the Kingbird for a goldfinch, except that I bet it is much bigger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The kingbird is quite different in size and coloration compared to the goldfinches.

      Thanks Ginny....a new KITE blog post will be forthcoming soon.

      Delete
  4. Hello, great post and photos. The Mississippi Kite is one my wish list of birds to see.
    Happy Monday, enjoy your day and the week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're an elusive species to be sure!! And beautiful.

      Delete
  5. love the bright yellow kingbird. have never seen a kite or for that matter a yellow king bird. that might be because i don't walk in the woods or look up and if i saw a cluster of leaves would not notice. you are amazing and so glad you finally got to see these birds and get photos... the kite looks like about the size of a big hawk... and all that with sweat in your eyes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandra....I'm kinda an odd ball when it comes to birding, and I know some could give a crap about it all, but hey...that's me. lol

      Delete
  6. WOW! Sometimes it pays to take that second look. I have actually seen and photographed a Mississippi Kite not too far from where I live.We had a breeding pair in Winnipeg,Manitoba.That's about 80 miles from my home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome that you got a photo of this beautiful bird! And thanks.

      Delete
  7. How exciting to finally spot those birds after all that time searching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ann....it's good to see you here. I was wondering where you vanished to for the last day or so.

      Delete
  8. Wonderful! A great thing to see, and if anybody ever deserved it, it's YOU! I hope you got some good ones, Anni. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is very cool! I will show my work doctor who is a birding fanatic - he'll love it I'm sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool...thanks, hope he enjoyed it.
      BTW, I now have my book published on Amazon if he's interested.

      Delete
  10. I have only seen one kingbird ever! I still remember when and where!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember some birds seen for the very first time, too...when and where!! Where mostly. lol

      Delete
  11. Way to go on finally seeing the Mississippi Kite! It is so exciting. (When I am out, I am always looking for a Bald Eagle...and things always look like one, then when I least expect it there is one for real.)

    Those flycatchers are sure beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations! I felt your excitement as I read. I'm so happy that you found these birds in your area! You sure earned those shots!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My heart was literally racing once I realized they were kites!!
      Thanks!!

      Delete
  13. How wonderful seeing the kite! Really super. And I am so excited about your book! It should be excellent, as your posts always are, and you always make such wonderful finds!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow! I'm so excited about your book. Your posts and always wonderful and I love your photos. Good luck with your book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Brenda...I appreciate you positive wishes.

      Delete
  15. Wow! How exciting you found these birds after searching for SO long! You must have been thrilled!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That, I was! Truly thrilled. Thanks Jeanne

      Delete
  16. so amazing... love it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love your adventures Anni! ...Michelle

    ReplyDelete

.