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I am sure I saw a red kite this morning

(99 Posts)
OwlLady Tue 04-Dec-12 13:56:03

It was massive. I saw it from the back and it was flying through the woods near my house. I have never seen a bird with a wing span SO big shock I thought it was an owl to begin with...hmm but it's body was too small

could it have been a red kite? I live in Beds

If anyone is bored enough, please advise grin

OwlLady Tue 04-Dec-12 14:58:05

oh that's sad sad

Grimma, i am impressed with the fact this thread went into most active and I thought no-one would respondgrin i talk about this stuff in real life and it's usually met with silence or that's nice dear

MrsChristmasVamos Tue 04-Dec-12 14:58:51

I live in Bucks. I see Red Kites every day. They fly over my house all the time.

I was shock at how big they are too. They are amazing to watch. smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Tue 04-Dec-12 14:59:57

I want to see one <whines>

OwlLady Tue 04-Dec-12 15:00:57

I am very close to Bucks.....

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Tue 04-Dec-12 15:02:38

I just read this:

"How close did the Red Kite get to extinction? It's hard to give exact figures, but from scientific research at Nottingham University we do know that the entire population of kites in 1977 emanated from just one female bird."


OwlLady Tue 04-Dec-12 15:04:35

crikey, that's amazing! Did they nickname her Eve?

mistlethrush Tue 04-Dec-12 15:41:58

There are three different hotspots for kites that I know of. The Welsh Red Kites are very much less visible than the English ones - they come from a different origen I believe - they are less happy to be visible if they see humans about, although with the feeding this is becoming less marked. There are two big populations in England - based upon the Chilterns (where I used to live) and Yorkshire (where I now live). Over the past 20 years they have become really quite a common sight in some parts of the chilterns, and possibly slightly less common - but still a regular sight - in Yorkshire. I even saw a bird-of-prey display that was interrupted by wild red kites coming to see what was happening - it put some of the display birds off and an owl ended up sitting in a tree to get out of the way.

Twitterqueen Tue 04-Dec-12 15:45:39

Kites have a slightly forked tail, buzzards a fan tail.
Pretty much common as muck round my way but that doesn't mean I don't love seeing them.

Now, can we reintegrate eagles, wolves and bears too?

In the right habitats, obviously wink

SweetMingePie Tue 04-Dec-12 15:46:32

I saw a huge flock of waxwing birds last week. I've never seen them before, me and my sister were watching them for a good 10 minutes. They actually came pretty close to us (we were standing in a car park watching them), beautiful birds. They were getting stalked by horrible magpies though so flew off.

GrimAndHumourlessAndEven Tue 04-Dec-12 15:54:43

Municipal car parks are great for waxwings, they love the berries on the serried rows of rowans that adorn them

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 04-Dec-12 15:54:50

When Kites were first reared and then re-released they were released on to Salisbury Plain as the army usage protects lots of bird species from less desirable humans - birds don't care about tanks and the army keep away from the nesting grounds at the right times. When Greenham Common was returned to common land between 1998 and 2000 it combined with the North Hampshire Downs a lovely little pocket that the Kites jumped into. They are now so common in this area you feel hard done by if a day goes by when you haven't seen a kite. We have Buzzards and many other raptor species in this area including the wonderful magical nightjars. Now for my soapbox - this is part of what makes the restoration of Greenham and Crookham Commons to common land the single most significant environmental project of the20th Century.

Abra1d Tue 04-Dec-12 15:56:02

I have had seven flying over me on a dog walk in the South.

Although they are lovely I do worry that they have dominated bird life. I hope they have not flourished at the expense of other raptors.

mistlethrush Tue 04-Dec-12 15:58:57

Nightjars aren't raptors though are they - raptors are the falcons, buzzards, kites etc

I would love to hear them though. And bitterns.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 04-Dec-12 16:02:07

I'm in Cambridgeshire and sometimes we are lucky enough to see Red kites here but they are rare. We have resident Marsh Harriers out the back of where I live and we regularly see them when walking the dog, Hen Harriers visit during the season too. I am fortunate enough to live in a house that backs onto a SSSI.

DS now lives in Oxfordshire and sees Buzzards and Red Kites frequently but gets all excited at the number of kestrels he sees when he comes home to stay for a few days (despite having a female kestrel called Jill who loves DS as if he were a husband, she gets really cross at DS if he ignores her when they are doing a display together).

Abra1d Tue 04-Dec-12 16:03:09

No nightjars aren't raptors. Why?

TaggieCrimbleBlack Tue 04-Dec-12 16:06:30

I get to see kites from my garden. Amazing birds.

Never seen a kingfisher though.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 04-Dec-12 16:23:44

We have bitterns and kingfishers, in the 12 years I've lived here I've seen the bittern once and heard it boom on another occasion.

Kingfishers seem to be a rarer occurrence than they were when we first lived here but one day this summer, after a tough day I took a walk down on the fen and stood at the jetty where the boat ties up. While stood listening to the peace a flash of blue flew down the Lode making me jump. It was one of the few days I didn't have my camera on me.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Tue 04-Dec-12 16:41:41

There's a growing population of red kites in the industrial landscapes of the north east as well. The RSPB has done amazing work in the area.

mistlethrush Tue 04-Dec-12 16:57:48

Abra1d - my comment was not aimed at you - you hadn't mentioned nightjars in your post before mine... Lonecat did - and the way it was phrased suggested that nightjars were raptors - but I am presuming that wasn't what she meant and she was just rhapsodising about the interesting birdlife in the area - about which I'm envy!

Abra1d Tue 04-Dec-12 19:33:34

Oh sorry! I confuse myself sometimes. But how great that we are all so interested in birds (and their environments, which desperately need conserving and protecting)!

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 04-Dec-12 20:14:16

I posted a wonderful reply explaining why nightjars are not raptors, but can be classed in same group as owls and raptors, but for DNA reasons have their own classification it all got lost somewhere.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 04-Dec-12 20:19:02

Loving this thread.

My 20 yr old DS has Asperger's and his 'thing' is birds, especially owls and raptors. Since he has moved away to become a falconer i have missed our little chats about all things bird-like.

greenhill Tue 04-Dec-12 20:33:17

We have red kites roosting in the trees next to our garden, owls fly through regularly and in the evening we have bats.

When I put scraps and seeds out first thing in the morning the first visitors are blackbirds, then magpies, doves and pigeons, rooks, jays, robins and wrens. Later on we get long tailed tits, cole tits, chaffinches, dunnocks and blue tits. Occasionally we get bullfinches, a tree creeper and a woodpecker.

I have seen hoopoes less than 10 miles from our house, they are extraordinary.

InExitCelsisDeo Tue 04-Dec-12 23:00:15

Hurrah, we have a top trumps thread in the depths of winter.

I have seen hoopoes in Egypt. Fabulous birds.

We have loads of blackbirds in the garden, which apparently are the only bird to have done well this year.

EauRougelyNight Tue 04-Dec-12 23:05:41

Which part of Cambs are you in, hellhasnofury? I live in the NW part of the county and see kites almost every day. They fly unnervingly low over the village and can often be seen at the nearby zoo swooping down to nick food from animal enclosures.

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