Monday, 14 November 2016

2016 Red Kite Roost

Sunday was the first Robert Fuller Red Kite roost of the season.  13 new participants turned up for the event, and luckily there was plenty for everyone to see.  Unfortunately the very sunny early afternoon was replaced by an extremely cloudy second half, which made distant photography difficult.  However, it was also the mildest visit I've ever enjoyed at the location with virtually no wind.  This meant that a great number of Red Kites  (20+?) seemed to be marooned in trees.  We even found 6 all in one tree!  None of them were particularly close, but we also had a few flying overheard at times, and their colours were especially notable when they flew against a dark background.  They seemed more vocal than on other occasions with plenty of their whistling calls reverberating around the valley.  There were also quite a number of Buzzards in the area, but numbers of these diminished as the afternoon wore on.
Red Kite
 Red Kites
We walked down to the village and saw a Marsh Tit, and heard a Grey Wagtail, but there was no sign of a Nuthatch.  However, myself and one participant were lucky enough to spot a Kingfisher flying away.  The first one of those I've seen at that location.  As we walked down the hill we became aware of a strange whirring sound and shortly afterwards  a strange device (an unusual drone?) headed towards the roost site, but very shortly afterwards turned around and flew back to the area behind us from which it had first emerged.  Were we being monitored, or was it anything to do with the red Kite roost?
Autumn colours
Just before we were ready to leave one participant spotted a Barn Owl emerging from a hollow branch in the valley below us.  It gave itself a stretch before flying away only to be hidden by an Ivy clump.  Throughout our visit we were often surrounded by vast flocks of Fieldfares (200+) and Redwings (200+), although neither species landed particularly close enough for prolonged viewing.  
Barn Owl having a stretch
 Under surveillance

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