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Saw my first Kent Red Kite this week...!!

Discussion in 'General chit chat' started by David M, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. David M

    David M Donator

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    I was in the hide on Tuesday and shortly after I got set up, I had a Red Kite come down for a close look at my decoys..! I've been a country boy around the same village in Kent for 47 years and this is the first Red Kite I've seen around here. It was getting a real earfull from the local Rooks though. Searching online I found that they have been spotted rarely across the marshes back in 2012.

    This past year I've spotted more raptor species than in the 46 years previous.. Buzzards, Kestrels, Barn Owls, Short Eared Owls, Small Owl, Peregrine Falcons, Sparrow Hawks and a fabulous tiny Merlin that zips up and down the tracks were I shoot. A Sparrow Hawk is terrorizing my Dad's area this past couple of years making daily fast passes through the gardens and keeping a lot of the other birds absent for hours on end. A pair of Peregrine Falcons were patrolling high above the village last Summer and folding up their wings and plummetting towards what I imagine were the plentiful supply of Collard Doves we have about.......:up:
     
  2. kermitboy1

    kermitboy1 Banned

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    Lovely birds. Don't see many kites up this way, hopefully that may change some day soon. We have a Merlin that works the airfield where I work. By . are they quick low flyers when they are hunting. KB1
     
  3. David M

    David M Donator

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    It took me ages to get a descent look at the merlin to look it up..! We had 4 cream barn owls regularly patrolling the pheasant feeders last Summer/Autumn and when I'd packed up and walked back to the car along the grass tracks, my rustling feet used to attract them above my head. Sadly one was killed by the farm cat last year. Really beautiful silent birds.

    I should think Red Kites will be turning up more regular in Kent and Essex in the next few years Kermit. They are large birds like Buzzards with a real presence....:up:
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  4. kermitboy1

    kermitboy1 Banned

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    Indeed I think your correct. We have plenty of Buzzard activity this way, and as to identifying the low flying blue flash, I know what you mean. KB1
     
  5. edtwozeronine

    edtwozeronine Donator

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    There's about 3 birds of prey (perhaps a family) where I go walking locally. Seem to be living in the greenbelt somewhere and I see them soaring over this field of horses I walk through. I know Buzzards and Kites are common in Wales but I'm no good at identifying them. They have white speckled undersides, brown on top and the tips of their wings seem to point upwards if that's any help identifying them.
     
  6. David M

    David M Donator

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    Buzzards and Kites are about the same size, probably around 3-4 feet span. Buzzards have an outward facing rounded tail (like a fan) and Red Kites have an inward curved tail. They both have light chests and brown upper body and wings with light patches. When flying, they both have spread finger wing tip feathers, look at their tails mate, they sound like Red Kites or Buzzards. Sparrowhawks are a larger version of a Kestrel and stand about a foot high........:up:
     
  7. ped

    ped Keyboard Hero

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    Censored hawks are constantly over the yard with occasional buzzards we also have a resident pair of sparrow hawks and kestrels
    i can watch them for hours ,last year one of the sparrow hawks perched about 10' from me on a pile of logs and only legged it when my phone rang
    ped
     
  8. lone wolf

    lone wolf Pro Poster

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    Stunning birds to see ive seen three in the last year up my way since they were reintroduced.

    Lovely birds.

    Gaz
     
  9. David M

    David M Donator

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    Nice experience mate. In the week, I also had a Sparrowhawk land amongst my decoys and went up to 3 of them wondering what was going on.

    One of them had a Mistle Thrush chick out of the nest in my Dad's garden a few years back and fought off bother parents whilst still holding onto the chick with one foot..! Mistle Thrushes are vicious things but the Hawk held out, blood poured from the nearly full grown chick. My Dad rushed out to frighten off the Hawk but held back when it just glared at him and tightened it's head feathers down hard..!! Nature can be sad, that was the only chick the Thrushes had that year and the last time they nested in his garden after quite a few years.
     
  10. Dag

    Dag Pro Poster

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    It's great to see how the Red Kites are expanding their areas. It's some time since they were reintroduced to, I think, Oxford. In the last three years I've seen them in Somerset,then Devon, and just before we moved from Cornwall just near to Launceston. Since we moved up to Surrey last summer I've seen them twice near Dorking and Reigate.
    Dag
     
  11. David M

    David M Donator

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    They certainly are spreading then Dag, I'm still not 100% it's a good thing the amount I've seen in Wales lately. From what I've seen on tele, a lot of the population explosion is supported by man feeding stations attracting paying viewers. I often wonder if the countryside can support a vast and rapid advance of a certain large species.

    I think I would have lost a real pigeon decoy if I'd have shot a few and set them out on Tuesday.
     
  12. themadspread

    themadspread Donator

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    they were first released on the bucks oxon border a good few yrs back bought in from sweden where each clutch of eggs only produced one adult due to food shortages.but here because of the amount of road kill(they only scavenge and dont kill)on the roadsevery egg laid leaves.they are around here in thousands.a couple of weeks back i shot 14 ferrels out of a barn for a local farmer and chucked them all on the barn roof when i left and next morning every had gone.they are spreading like wild fire
     
  13. David M

    David M Donator

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    We were trout fishing in Pembrokeshire a couple of years back and there were a gathering.. (flock..?) of Buzzards and Red Kites circling above a hillside of over 20 birds. It's a very common sight to see them in numbers in some parts of the country.

    At least you know a good way of getting rid of your kills you don't keep. We have a fox doing the rounds in the garden every night taking mine which is handy not having to keep lighting the incinerator...:)
     
  14. yorkshireshoot

    yorkshireshoot Posting Addict

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    I see one every day for past year or so , they're everywhere around Leeds now . Was a breeding programme at one of he large estates on outskirts of Leeds and now they're thriving . Saw one take something from a field a bit ago was awesome watching it circle then tuck it's wings swoop in and get whatever it was , beautiful creatures !
     
  15. David M

    David M Donator

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    Also larger than I was expecting up close..! I was in a hide last Tuesday and one flew above me then touched down out near my decoys 30 yards away, a real presence, the other rooks and Jackdaws hated it though and made it's life hell until it flew off. I've seen other large birds of prey down on our sea wall on the banks of the Thames estuary but they had some sort of transmitting device strapped to them, escaped from across the water in Essex possibly with someone sweating seeing their pride and joy fly off..!
     
  16. micken

    micken Well-Known Member

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    Saw a red kite come in and land in a tree with its food last Sunday whilst shooting. Was able to watch it in detail with my spotting scope, fantastic until it got mobbed by the local crows. Three other kites then came in and gave the crows a flying lesson before going to amuse themselves somewhere else.

    A few months ago a sparrowhawk had a pigeon in the field below where we shoot and really laid into it when feeding, feathers everywhere.

    Great to see raptors doing what they're good at.
     
  17. David M

    David M Donator

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    I fly R/C slope soaring gliders and very often have Rooks and Buzzards taking a lot of close interest in them for up to 10 minutes at a time, I now actually take the glider up to an area of good lift and just 'park' it for them to get in for a real close look.

    Raptors are certainly good pluckers, any birds Sparrowhawks have eaten in our garden leave a full heavy ring of feathers behind...!
     
  18. Dsmith

    Dsmith Engaging Member

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    Im lucky enough to work around high wycombe, amersham, Bucks, all day so I get to see loads . Love red kites. They literally stop me in my tracks every time I see one. Love em. They are spreading out too. Croxley, abbots langley, which is great to see
     

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