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Tony Grist

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Red Kites [Jun. 30th, 2018|06:55 pm]
Tony Grist
According to the RSPB's website there are only 1,600 breeding pairs of red kites in Britain. This surprises me as I'd formed the impression they were becoming common. There was one wheeling overhead at the farm this morning- probably because I'd just thrown some bits of chicken carcass into the field. My sister says there's a colony of them in Basingstoke where our nephew lives and he sees so much of them that he no longer thinks of them as anything special.

[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2018-06-30 09:59 pm (UTC)
In Spain (and I just checked the numbers) the red kites population has declined 43% in recent years. There are only around 2200 breeding pairs left in Spain. They are considered endangered in Europe though Germany has at least 12,000 pairs. I guess in bird life that's not a very strong showing. Apparently part of the problem lies in that they hybridize with black kites and that is also weakening the population as true red kites are on the wane because of that.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-07-01 07:10 am (UTC)
Seems as though you still have more of them than we do.

They were reintroduced into Britain after going extinct.
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[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2018-07-02 06:56 am (UTC)
I see dozens every time I take the M40 towards Oxford. A bird of prey always feels like something special to spot, though (saw a couple of kestrels in Dorset this weekend).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-07-02 07:01 am (UTC)
I don't remember seeing birds of prey- of any species- when I was a kid but now they're common. We had one attack a small bird at our feeders on Saturday; it missed.
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From: ambezi
2018-07-02 11:05 am (UTC)
Saw lots of them too yesterday on a drive from Chatham to Warwick in my Volvo Amazon. There's a couple of spots at the lower end of the M40 where they have been common for years. Sometimes see 4 or 6 in the air at a time. Saw a couple of Buzzards too, very distinctive with their broad wings, and they seem to be much more widespread now.

The continuing UK heat wave meant that the 334 round trip was pretty sticky with temps in the low 80º's. Stop-start traffic around London on the way home always a pain. Old car, no A/C, but always fun!
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