Monday, 11 May 2009
Joy of a rush hour Red Kite
One I made earlier, Red Kite, Spanish Pyrenees
I keep a small black notebook in the car, in which I scribble sightings of birds and mammals to send to the county recorder at the end of the year. Today I was able to note that I 'had' a Red Kite fly over my car as I drove to work along the A47 heading towards Norwich.
This was my third Norfolk Red Kite and the one that has given me the most pleasure, not only because it was a great, well lit if brief view looking up underneath it as it circled overhead, but also because of how I picked it out, first as a brief silhouette against the sun, with a fleeting twist of its tail giving its identity away. Then a few minutes later confirmation of my earlier instinctive identification a Red Kite, for my money perhaps our most spectacular raptor.
I don't know where this bird was from, I couldn't see a wing tag so it could be either a continental migrant or from one of the successful English reintroduction projects. Either way it was a pleasure to see and for me it threw into focus how such a simple pleasure as this has been denied to generations of birdwatchers and ordinary people who would take enjoy it. Denied because of the prejudices that we had and still have against birds of prey. Prejudices which still manifest themselves in illegal persecution and knee jerk reactions against the idea of looking to put back Sea Eagles in our East Coast wetlands.