Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Red Kite

Red Kite - Ray Braim

Last week we hosted a special afternoon and evening for members of Foto-Buzz, a fairly new online photographic group run by Andy Rouse. They spent some time photographing both our mammals and owls, but the highlight for me happened at around 5pm...

Whilst moving on from one area of the reserve, we spotted this red kite above flying very low. Red kite sightings are still quite rare in this area, and I normally see perhaps one or two every year.

This year however I have seen one, possibly the same one, half a dozen times already.


Red Kite - Ray Braim

Last week this red kite put on an awesome display. For a good fifteen minutes he was flying very low over the reserve in front of the second car park. He was giving the herons a bit of grief, and getting a bit of grief from the crows, but the best thing was watching him pick up fish that we put out for the herons on the fly, eating it whilst in the air, and then going back for more!

I didn't have my camera with me, and refused to run back to get it... there was no way I was going to miss seeing this. Luckily foot-buzz member, and friend of the Centre Ray Braim was on hand and managed to get these great shots in very difficult conditions.

I will keep my eyes open for if the kite returns, regular feeds for the herons may well attract him back in, and who knows... in a few years we may have very regular visitors or even a resident on the reserve.

5 comments:

  1. Surely the water voles are a good feed for him? Hopefully that is not what is attracting him....
    I live in reigate and have been lucky enough to see water vole at 'frenches road pond' so would hate for this to be the case...

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    1. A red kite would be a negligible threat to our water vole colony. Although they do occasionally take small mammals, red kites tend to mainly take earth worms or carrion... as this one was last week.

      There is plenty of cover and vegetation for our water voles to hide away in, and that they are thriving so well with a resident group of herons, I am sure they can stay safe from a red kite.

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  2. I t would be great to regularly see a Kite on or near the Reserve ! I agree with Matt on this,I really don't see it as a threat to the Water Voles !
    Regards Andy Cade

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  3. Charlie Brookes14 June 2014 at 11:44

    Red Kite flying over East Grinstead town centre this morning
    ;-)

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    1. Wow, great news and good you got to see it. There is definitely one hanging around this area... I have seen one over the reserve and neighboring fields at least once a week now. Not been back to feed though.

      Fingers crossed they will become and even more regular sighting over coming months/years.

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