Rare sighting of Swallowtail Kites in Fountain Inn

“On August 27, 2017, I had a credible report with photos of swallow-tailed and Mississippi Kites in the Fountain Inn area. They were following a farmer as he mowed his hay field. I visited the general area and was able to relocate them. The field was slightly in Laurens County at the intersection of Jones Road and Durbin Road. The report was from owners Ashley and Pam Riddle concerning the sighting of the birds in a field at Solid Rock Stables. They were nearly finished with the mowing of their hay and I do not know if the flock will remain. I estimate there were about 15 total Kites flying around the tractor as they mowed. Most of them were swallow-tailed kites.” Steve added, “I have never seen a swallow-tailed kite in the upstate before.  I usually drive to Allendale, SC in late August to see them where they gather in large flocks.”

Another avid birder, Len Kopka, also commented, “They are rare this far north and this far inland. In fall they usually go to southern parts of state but unusual to come this far up. Good find!”
Pam, Ashely and their four sons have been working this farm cutting and baling hay for their boarding stables for 20 years and they had never seen these birds before. “It was exciting to try and figure out what kind of birds we were seeing. They were there every day we were working the fields.” Pam said.♦


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