Monday, 31 October 2011

First Red Kite Roost

Yesterday was the first of the Red Kite roost events on behalf of the Robert Fuller Gallery. We shared cars to the location & had no sooner got out of the cars when a Red Kite was seen flying very close to the parked cars. The colours were picked out vividly against the Autumnal colours of the trees behind. In the 2 hours we were there at least 6 were seen in the sky at the same time, but many other individuals swept by at other moments. Unfortunately, due to the enthusiastic participation of 3 youngsters bombarding me with questions & anecdotes I lost count of the individual birds coming in! Hopefully, they may turn out to be leading conservationists of the future!

In addition to the flying kites we also saw a few perched in neighbouring trees, but also 200+ Fieldfare, and a few Redwings, at least 2 Kestrels & a Green Woodpecker kept returning to the same tree for a few moments. Unfortunately, it never stayed there long enough for everyone to see it through the telescope, before it bounded away to another area, where it remained hidden. There was a flyover Skylark, a Meadow Pipit, Mistle Thrushes & Chaffinches. Throughout our stay a group of Mallard laughed noisily in the background.

The views yesterday were some of the best I've seen of Red Kites locally, but none of the photos really captured the ruddy tail of this special species. Hopefully, future visits will remedy this situation. One youngster confided to his brother that "this was the best day of my life". His brother then broadcast this information to the rest of the participants! Although it would have meant more if someone aged 85 said that watching the Red Kites was the best day of his life, at least his experience may inspire the youngster to help conserve our wildlife in the future!

Red Kite
Record shot of Kite
A perched youngster (?)

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