Marvin Smith and I had 25 Swallow-tailed Kites foraging over a field just east of US-221 (Greenville Rd.), 3/4 mi south of CR-146 (Ashville Rd.) from 3:20 to 3:50 pm today.  This is a couple miles south of the Georgia state line and is the same field where Marvin and Karen Seward had 45 STKIs on 8/13.  Also, there were scores of Barn Swallows briefly circling with the kite flock, then continuing south.

Toward 3:50 today, some of the kites soared very high and drifted south and west, and others flew west at low altitude.  We caught up with 10 of them 1 mi west on CR-146.  After the rain started, 3 STKIs switched from catching flying insects mid-air to plucking them off the tops of cotton plants (once the insects were grounded by the rain).  Some of them perched in trees until the rain let up.

There has been a nocturnal roost of STKIs near the Wacissa River head spring area (25-30 miles from above site), and some of these kites may be associated with that.  Go see it while it lasts, which can't be for much longer.

Brad Bergstrom
Valdosta, GA

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