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The pair of White-tailed Kites were seen again on Friday 2/9 at 3pm,
foraging over the western side of the marsh across from Pine Island.  They
were first seen below the tree canopy level, with their white plumage and
rapid wing-beats indeed looking tern- or small gull-like at a distance.
They then soared up high over the canopy, and were harder to see, in
silhouette.  They dove at each other and flew near each other for the 20
minutes I watched them - could they possibly be preparing to nest in the
area?

The best 2 vantage points to see out onto the lakebed are from the boat ramp
at Rococo Rd east of Magnolia Rd (on the W side of the lake) - there was a
chain across the road right before the "ramp".  The other is to follow "West
Lake Road" (on the NE side of the lake) S from CR 142 to the 90 degree turn
to the E and then follow the trail to the SW down to the Boat ramp - shown
on DeLorme atlas P35.  There is a drivable trail along the eastern edge of
the lakebed south to Pine Island, but 4-wheel drive is recommended - it was
wet and mushy between the mainland and Pine Island.  The birds were seen by
standing on the tailgate of the truck to get enough elevation to see out
over the marsh.  Thanks to Brad Bergstrom for good directions!

Lots of other raptors - Bald Eagle, Kestrels, TVs, tons of Harriers, many
Red-tails and Red-shoulders, and a larger unidentified buteo.

Bob Wallace
Alachua