Flying Kites

Following on from my last post.  After we had watched the goose for a good hour and the crowds increased it was decided to take advantage of the sunny day and carry on west around the coast.  Stopped at Titchwell for our pack up of filled pittas and coffee.  The car park was quite full and I didn’t feel the pull to visit the reserve.  We headed just a mile inland away from the flat coastal marshes to the gently rolling countryside around Choseley village.  Mrs H spotted a Red Kite (Milvus milvus) so I drove to a vantage point with the sun behind us.  What we witnessed is something I never dreamed I would see in my home County.

Six Red Kites in the sky over Choseley

The first Kite we had spotted swooped down to a stubble field where another flew up to meet it.  These where then joined by a third.  There seemed to be a bit of an argument going on.  As the birds flew across the road two more joined in the tussle, as they passed the drying barns a sixth was counted.  Here they wheeled around to and fro looking all the world as if they were playing a game of tag, yet I suspected that even though they roost communally this was a territorial dispute.

Follow the leader
After a while one of the Kites returned, a bit closer this time

So why did I think I would never see anything like this here in Norfolk?  Well I have mentioned about this bird in past posts so here’s a quick recap.  Due to persecution the Red Kite almost became extinct in the UK in the 1960’s.  A handful of pairs survived, hidden in almost secret valleys of Mid-Wales.  It was decided to re-introduce this bird by releasing captive bred Scandinavian stock over the years in four areas.  The scheme is a great success and now in certain places big numbers of Kites can be seen gracing the sky with their elegant gliding flight and forever twisting, forked, red tail.  Gradually these birds have spread out from the release areas and are now colonising most of the Country.  This day we saw more Red Kites (10) than any other bird of prey, even outnumbering the Buzzard (8) another raptor that has increased it’s range over the years.

A female Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) tries to slip by unnoticed past a patch of dead Sunflowers

A superb day out and it helps to take my mind off more worrying and depressing issues a few hours flight east.  💙💛

38 thoughts on “Flying Kites

  1. Great post.
    We’ve seen the kites in Watlington, there are dozens if not hundreds. It’s quite ominous with them all circling overhead.
    Looking forward to seeing action at Santa Pod this year, and your pictures too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fabulous sighting, Brian. We have red kites near us in the Corve Valley, where they have spread from Wales. Once in a while I spot one over Wenlock, and have even seen one over the outskirts of Wolverhampton.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kites in cities were a common sight in Medieval times as they scavenged the streets, wonder what they found to eat at Wolverhampton?
      Always a joy to see Tish and you’re not far from their heartland.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Absolutely amazing, Brian. I’ll take a guess this sight made you choke up a bit, yes?
    And why not, just reading this post made me beam all over.
    Great shots, you lucky sod!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was a thrilling sight Mr A even Mrs H was getting excited!
      Brilliant that these magnificent birds are turning up in my neck of the woods in good numbers.
      Thanks for dropping by, appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers CJ. Better being out and about, I’ve been getting rather depressed sitting in watching events unfold as the builders demolish the kitchen.
      You’re more than welcome to come ashore but wipe your feet when you do 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A great post, Brian and fabulous photos. Interesting story about the kites, I’m thrilled they’ve made such a come-back.

    I appreciate your ending and its hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brian, trying to catch-up on WordPress notifications while simultaneously watching UEFA Champs-League (Liverpool v. Inter Milan) 😉 …and while Mom & I catch/watch our neighborhood Red-shouldered Hawk here! HAH! Talk ’bout a juggling act with booing from the crowd. 😄

    These are wonderful pics. Well done to both you and the Mrs! The better half I’m sure. A thumbs up for you and a glass of fine wine for her! 🍷🤭 I love most all predatory birds. They are so majestic, so cunning & silent in their hunting methods, aren’t they? (que goosebumps & standing hair on back of neck)

    And yes, let’s hope WW3 can be avoided and all the comprehensive embargos & sanctions on the Red KGB madman & inner-circle of Brass around him bleed him dry and bankrupt, QUICK! 💙💛🇺🇦

    Like

    1. Well Mr D the ‘Pool crept through so the Jo-berg Red will be happy!
      Raptors do hold a certain awe about them, sadly there are some who still persecute them even though they are fully protected by law.

      Have to agree, I hope these sanctions work, the alternatives don’t bear thinking about. Maybe the ordinary people of russia will one day be strong enough to get rid of this megalomaniac despot and his evil henchmen but having watched how anti-war protesters have been treated I fear it may not happen, who knows, if they are deprived of Macky d’s and Coke for long enough their spirit might break 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There is nothing like wandering around the countryside innocently and all of a sudden – Kites! Lots of Kites!

    Your encounter even got my heart pumping faster all the way across the pond.

    Good show on catching that “stealth” Harrier!

    We’re under tornado watch this morning and the temperature will plunge 40 degrees by tomorrow! Old Man Winter’s last gasp – we hope.

    Take good care, Brian!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard on social media Florida is ‘enjoying’ some un-springlike weather and the big drag race the ‘Gatornationals’ is in doubt.
      If trends continue sights like this group will increase, they are doing very well.
      Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

      Like

  7. Wonderful find! Always enjoy watching the kite (favorite being the white-tailed variety) – sleek and graceful for sure. More heartening is reading of their successful recovery efforts. Here, Whooping Cranes were my catalyst to get into birding in the first place as their story of survival moved me greatly and then I had the riveting experience of seeing them in the wild (unbanded). Good to here you’ve been getting out B.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers B. I think because Kites don’t need special habitat and are basically scavengers their chances of spreading and increasing was always going to be high, it’s the first few years getting the numbers up that were critical.

      Liked by 1 person

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