Monday, 28 November 2011

The Sky is full of Kites

I visited friends for coffee in the village today and was struck by a couple of Red Kites coming really low and close searching for food.  This is not an unusual sight in our village any more.  Ten years ago when we first moved here you would see a Red Kite once a week now you have multiple sightings every day.

Red Kite

This was easy to understand after I read my latest edition of Boda Wennol the magazine of The Welsh Kite Trust.  In 2001 there were 285 pairs located in Wales and now there are estimated to be in excess of 1,000 pairs.  What a far cry from those desperate days in the 1960's when only a handful of pairs remained in remote valleys.  It is a credit to the Kite Committee and later the activities of the Welsh Kite Trust that the comeback has been so spectacular.  This National bird of Wales can now be seen in most of the Principality.

Red Kite country in Wales

The reintroductions elsewhere in the UK and Ireland have also been equally impressive and according to figures in the magazine there could now be over 2300 pairs nesting in the UK.  This surely represents the most successful reintroduction of a species in the UK.

Young Red Kite

The Welsh Kite Trust can no longer locate every nest and to some extent their job is done.  The organisation has such a marvellous leader in Tony Cross and a highly professional band of volunteers that losing their skills would be potentially catastrophic.  I am so delighted that they intend to continue their work but concentrating more on raptor species that need some help.  Peregrines, Merlins, Kestrels and Honey Buzzards will be the subject of future work.

Honey Buzzard - a small population in Wales

The organisation has existed largely on donations from the Friends of the Welsh Kite and it beholds all of us to accept the requested increase and continue our support for the future.

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