Letter-Winged Kite at Myall Lakes

Subject: Letter-Winged Kite at Myall Lakes
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 14:55:03 +1100 (EST)
My sister Jenny phoned me yesterday to discuss christmas presents
yesterday.  When I asked about her recent field trip she said oh yes I had
two good bird sightings, close-up view of Painted Button-quail with young
and a Letter-winged Kite!  My sisters field sites are in Myall Lakes NP
(on the coast about 300kms north of Sydney). 

If anyone is in this area over Christmas/New Year check out any Kites
you see carefully!

The bird was seen approximately on the Hawkes Nest - Seal Rocks Road
approximately 10km north of Mungo Brush.  This dirt road is often
called the mining road.  The road is bad but can be traversed (slowly)
in a 2wd car.  
The bird was seen late afternoon on the December 10 and December 16th.  It
was seen flying low overhead and was identified by the underwing pattern
which was seen clearly.  The only other difference from Black-shouldered
Kite noted was that its flight was "Tern-like". 

The area where it was seen is heath with a high rodent density.  My
sister has noted Black-shouldered kites breeding in this location
previously.  It is I gather from HANZAB the sort of habitat
Letter-winged Kites occur during irruptions. 

Jenny is a biologist who has watched birds for many years so I think its
unlikely she has the ID wrong.  She was pleasde because its a new bird for
her and said "but you've seen Letter-winged Kite haven't you".  No, its
the only Australian (non-vagrant)  raptor I haven't seen. 

Andrew Taylor

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