The Red Kite is a majestic bird and one who’s survival has been quite remarkable.
Shot and hunted to near extinction some 100 years ago, it has been the focus of the World’s longest ever Protection Programme.

Red Kite over Wye Downs Kent

In 1989 some were imported from Spain and since that time numbers have increased dramatically. A good area to spot them in the South is on the Surrey Hills and Chilterns.
They say you will never not see one in Reading where local residents feed them in back gardens!

So it was a real treat for me today.
I’d been to Canterbury to do my survey on the House Martins there and rather than taking my normal countryside route back through Hastlingleigh and down the hill to Smeeth, I cut across the top of the North Downs to Wye.
Being some 600 feet up with a clear view over the Romney Marshes as far as Pett I thought I may at least get a Kestrel flying below me.

Red Kite at Wye

Seems I was there at exactly the right time. Looking slightly to the west I saw what I thought at first was a Buzzard. Upon noticing the forked rear tail I knew it was a Red Kite.

Now, it’s not a rare sighting in many places but you don’t see as many around this way. Had I been a bit earlier I may have seen it more and got closer, but it was obviously finishing off his or her circuit and flew northwards toward Canterbury.

Back home with my tail up like my Ginger Cat when he’s pleased to see you. A great day !!

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