Kites everywhere

As you may remember I am keeping a note of which days I see Red Kites this year. I’ve not seen one today, yet, even though it’s a sunny day.

But the weekend before last I had to go to Corby to do some shopping  – a distance of 16 miles.  That short journey delivered sightings of 38 Red Kites on the way there and 28 on the way back.

This bird really is a part of everyday life in rural east Northants. The County Council may be virtually bankrupt but the Red Kites are booming. That’s quite a different status from that reported in the first book on the birds of Northamptonshire, published 1895, by the 4th Baron Lilford where he wrote;

Of this fine bird and its habits in this county, or indeed I may say in this country,  I am sorry to say that, from personal observation, I have next to nothing to relate, for the obvious reason that the species has been all but extinct in our district for nearly fifty years, and is now a rare bird in all parts of Great Britain.

Notes on the birds of Northamptonshire and neighbourhood.

Progress indeed.

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2 Replies to “Kites everywhere”

  1. I can still remember my first Red Kite in August 1966 in mid Wales somewhere near Lampeter, on the way home from a family holiday in Pembrokeshire. I can also remember my first in the home county of Yorkshire nearly 30 years ago, a real red letter day for the raptor watchers at Gouthwaite Res in Nidderdale that day. They have since been very successfully re-introduced to much of England and parts of Scotland despite the nay-sayers in the game and farming industries some of whom sadly seem to dislike them so much they are still shooting, poisoning and trapping them ( What utter bastards some people are).
    They are well established in my old home in the Harrogate area despite being excluded from the uplands by said bastards and if one went to the right places you could see 30 to 60 going to or leaving roosts, utterly brilliant. Now I live in mid Wales and can see hundreds if I venture down the road to either of the nearest feeding sites, both are spell binding experiences even for the jaded.
    At the house and its environs the best I've done at once is 16 although usually it is one or two together on most but not all days. Today it was just the one.
    I always watch them, commonplace yes but so elegant in flight, lovely plumage and relatively fearless. We sometimes take such natural beauty for granted but the Red Kite is very special and should always be savoured and enjoyed. I cannot imagine going back to the days when they were almost mythical and as rare as hen's teeth.

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  2. The reintroduction initiative was a brilliant idea. The success being greater in southern Britain, or putting it a different way, in mainly grouse free Britain.
    Every now and then I hear people who say there are too many!

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