It's been great to see a regular stream of reports on this MessageBoard of mostly single Red Kites at various sites across the country over the last 6 weeks or so.
As in recent years, there is now a concentration of at least 100 Red Kites, and at least one Black Kite, in SW Cornwall.
These birds are likely to move E - NE over the coming days so it should be definitely worth keeping your eyes on the sky anywhere in Somerset.
And if you 'need' Red Kite for your Garden List now is the time to invest some time sitting out there skywatching (weather permitting)!
One over Meare Heath this morning.
Red Kite seen flying over Barton St David today, four miles south of Glastonbury
Nick, I’m sure that you know this already, but it makes a good story nonetheless!
I was travelling back to Glastonbury on the train yesterday, from London, having watched a play there - ‘Death of a Salesman.’ That’s by the by of course, my point is that I saw 4 Red Kites in the Reading to Newbury area – good job I had a window seat!
Anyway, intrigued, I googled it and found out that Reading is now visited by up to 300 Kites daily, with many families feeding them from their gardens! The article said that there are now some 2,700 breeding pairs here in Blighty. I’m sure you knew that too!
Question for you Nick? We have this influx of Kites in Somerset throughout our summer, and then, in the winter months they disappear! Where do they go Nick, and why won’t they winter here?
Red Kite over Westhay (Friday)
Thought it was a distant Marsh harrier. Some not very good pics on the blog.
Plus some better ones of house martins and our friendly Tawny owl.
Re the Reading kites. I have been travelling along the M4 for the past ten years or so and could tell that I was approaching Reading from seeing red kites beside the motorway. Slowly but surely, the sightings have started progressively westwards. Last week whilst driving back, I saw six, the last one being just before the Hungerford junction. Surely it is just a matter of time before they become permanent residents in Somerset. Just as an aside, if you have never seen one and wish to do so, don't bother going to Wales, go to High Wycombe. I have seen up to 30 in the air at one time, right above the town.
Red Kites are now seen in the East of the County all year round. So, I would guess that we may have a small resident population already? There may be more Kites than birders in this part of the world leading to under reporting!
Saw a single Red Kite over A39 at Beckery, Glastonbury at about 3.40pm this afternoon. Great to see them in Somerset.
Two Red Kites drifting slowly over Morrisons car park in Wells at 13:30, heading in the direction of Glastonbury Tor. Not a bad lunchtime bird from the staff canteen!
Two Red Kites reported feeding with Buzzards on a ploughed field a mile from Coleford on Thursday.
Red Kite at Catcott Lows, 4pm on 7th June. Drifting north.
three red kites over the east side of Bruton at lunchtime today, along with 7 Buzzards, this was whilst the silage was bing picked up from the field, went out then so did not see how long they stayed around.
Red Kite headed NE over Stiby Road, Yeovil 1020 hrs today.
Still more to come. Just posted on Twitter ...
Rare Bird Alert @RareBirdAlertUK 14m 14sec minutes ago
186+ Red Kites (yes 186!) over Nanjizal Valley in Cornwall today!
Pair of Red Kites over hay making in Moorland at 8.30 this morning. Around for about 20 minutes and included one magnificent stoop from about 150 feet. Headed off towards North Petherton but plenty of hay fields on the way.
Single Red Kite high over Queen Sedge Moor around 3.20 this afternoon. After circling a few times it moved off East.
Single red kite over Wells yesterday, Monday, looping slowly, low, and being hassled by two angry gulls. First time I've seen one here.
On Tuesday 9th June, noted a single red kite, eying up road kill - fox - low over the road on the drive over Iythorn hill near Street, with some competition from two crows.
Does anyone know if any Red Kites have ever had Geo-locators attached to them??
One next to m5 just north of sedgemoor services heading towards the mendips, at about 11am this morning
Single Kite over Chilton Polden near Priory 5pm today.
Pair of Red Kites flying low over my back garden in North Curry at 6.30pm yesterday wonderful sight!
One Red Kite over wellington somerset at 9.20 this morning - Lovely
Two north over Wet Moor this morning.
Another one in heavy moult (many primaries missing) over Churchinford at 2 p.m. today.
2 sightings today, on the Frome to Radstock road, and one this morning Frome to Bath.
Red kite over first viewing platform Ham Wall midday today.
Single red kite seen flying east over odcombe towards yeovil at around 2pm today.
Two together, east over Walton Heath/Ham Wall at 16:20, followed by a single, closer bird, about 5 minutes later.
One at 8.30 this morning drifting low and slow over Horton Cross roundabout at Ilminster , heading East.
Two Red Kites over Faulkland at 8.20am today (Fri) going East.
Red Kite mobbed by Lesser BB Gulls as it moved through Coleford, possibly on its way to Faulkland!
2 Red Kites over Loxton's at RSPB Ham Wall at around mid day today one adult in even wing moult
One, low flying over Meare at 15.20. Gardening has its compensations!
Yet 2 more over Churchinford early afternoon.
Single Red kite drifting over the M5 just north of the Bridgewater junction & a Hobby overhead just before the Taunton junction.
Just seen what must be a Red Kite (from the forked/v-shaped tail) near Wedmore, being 'mobbed' by a crow/rook. Fascinating - having googled it - to read of their spread across the country.
Red Kite over my home in Somerton this morning hunting at 50ft
and to join in the fun, one yesterday slowly passing over west coker, as usual mobbed by a gull.
Just heard that Dick Best saw three Red Kites at Steart village yesterday morning.
One floated north-west over Chipstable today (13Jun15) just before noon, towards the Brendons.
One above Stapleton Close, Martock on Wednesday morning, (10th) at 8.15 am, heading south. Also one drifting north over Ashmead Lakes, Ash this morning (Saturday) at 11.10 am.
3, a single soon followed by two more, flew slowly east over Shapwick Heath and Ham Wall this morning around 11:30 hrs.
11/6/15 - 2 over Ham Wall - photographed the second one's rump!
12/6/15 - 1 over Shapwick
Sorry, I've not been very good at sending sightings lately. I had 2 red kite sightings over the Easter weekend - one over my house in Frome and another over Beckington. Then a quiet patch until the weekend of 6th and 7th June when I had 3 separate sightings from my garden (lovely weekend, spent most of it on the sun lounger!). Then on the way home from work in Melksham a red kite drifted over the road (Wiltshire sighting). Finally last Saturday 13th I was walking on the edge of Bath and had another one. They are getting almost common!
Single Red Kite over Shipham this afternoon.
Red Kite this morning quartering the mowed field opposite Oakhill Primary School. Very low and probably the closest I will ever get to a Red Kite. Many thanks to the Lollipop lately for stopping the traffic and thus allowing this sighting to occur!
spotted a single red kite just outside Wedmore yesterday evening
Not a report but I am wondering why so many kites have accumulated in Cornwall. Was there a release there, or are they migrants from France settling in the first place they land, or even kites from Wales and England heading South Westwards and getting funnelled and stopping when surrounded by sea?
Another one over Churchinford around 10 this morning. Re Andrew's query it is the latter i.e. they are non breeding birds coming out of the Chilterns/Midlands (and possibly Wales) that get funnelled down to Cornwall, meet the sea and turn round and head back. This year one bird was recognised by its wing tags as coming from the North East population. Mark Darlaston from Devon Birds has posted previously regarding their origin.
Thanks Doug. That is very interesting.