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Old 16th June 2015
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A moment to treasure - red kite

There are some days when I feel truly humbled by nature, rather than just enjoying it as I do most days. I haven't posted for a while but felt this experience was worth it.

I was on my way back home from a local reserve where I had been photographing damselflies emerging from the nymph cases. A good friend and naturalist once told me to always put the camera on the passenger seat ...as you never know what you might see. Advice that has served me well over the years.

On a quiet back road, on the way home, I saw a bird of prey and thought, buzzard. Common enough in Northants, but worth stopping for. As I stopped I realised it was actually a kite, which is less common but we get one or two usually at height. This one was enjoying the thermals and soaring around a tree about 100 yards away. I took some record pictures and he drifted off.

I got back in the car and was about to set off when he returned to circle directly over me, at closest, probably about 30 feet. He occasionally took an effortless glide for half a mile, but returned, probably half a dozen times. We shared about five minutes of, for me, complete joy.











These pictures are in the main full frame, and are a perfect reminder of the majesty, power and close presence of the bird. At times it was so close I had huge difficulty keeping it in the frame. I hope some of that excitement and energy comes through. I have put just a few here and a few extra in my gallery.

Thanks for looking and to Peter D for reminding me to post them!

Peter
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Old 16th June 2015
DavyG DavyG is offline
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

What an unusual and great experience, thanks for sharing your images.

Dave
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Old 16th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

A thrilling and unforgettable moment. Well shot.
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Old 16th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Great series lucky you well taken.
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Old 16th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Great images, you are very lucky to experience this.
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Old 16th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Well done Peter. It sounds like a wonderful experience and you have made the most of it. Red Kites are still uncommon in my part of Norfolk, so I am rather envious.

Ron
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Great shots, sounds like a surreal experience!
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Old 17th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Hi there Peter!

I love your photo's, and the advice! I was driving home from South Wales (just by Carmathen) when I saw a circling Kite (there is a nearby feeding station.) Needless to say that we were driving home from holiday, and my camera bag had been safely packed at the bottom of a big suitcase at the bottom of the boot! If we go back next year the camera will be on my knee, with my wife driving!

Thanks for posting your fabulous images,

Cheers,

Ralph.
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Old 17th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Lucky you and great shots. Always keep the camera handy . . .
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Old 17th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olybirder View Post
Red Kites are still uncommon in my part of Norfolk, so I am rather envious.
We're sick of the sight of them in the Chilterns!

;^)

Jim
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Old 18th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

I am grateful to everyone who has responded and said they enjoyed the pictures - I will post a few more of my wildlife pictures as it is my only focus and I do get to see some unusual things. Red kites in some places are far from that...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
We're sick of the sight of them in the Chilterns!

;^)

Jim
...appreciate the smiley, but it is a concern that the current success will cause a reaction amongst gamekeepers again.

My good friend was one of the small group who reintroduced the kite in Buckinghamshire in 1989. The decline in numbers to just a declining few pairs in Wales being of international concern. Birds from Sweden were released and it has been hailed as the best reintroduction ever.

He has taken me on pilgrimage to that site a number of times. Successful breeding took place, public education and constant feeding has led to huge numbers. And local overpopulation. On one visit in any one frame we took we had about 20-30 kites (about 1/2 mile away) - I must look out my pictures. It was some years back now. But that was just the birds circling over a farm where they were fed. And not that interesting as a picture! I did see and photograph a nest (not occupied and not in breeding season). And a roosting bird in a tree. Huge.

As a scavenger they are often seen over roads dealing with roadkill (the M40 is good). They were known as the battlefield bird - as they were part of the followers of medieval warfare, cleaning up the field when the battle has finished. I am sure that didn't help their reputation. At the moment they seem to be held as a 'good thing'.

So I am waiting for the backlash. Farmers will be blaming them for taking live animals, having fed them for years on their waste and dead animals. Popular newspapers will latch on to another urban fox story. But maybe I'm just a cynic too.

Peter
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Old 18th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Harwood View Post
Hi there Peter!

I love your photo's, and the advice! I was driving home from South Wales (just by Carmathen) when I saw a circling Kite (there is a nearby feeding station.) Needless to say that we were driving home from holiday, and my camera bag had been safely packed at the bottom of a big suitcase at the bottom of the boot! If we go back next year the camera will be on my knee, with my wife driving!

Thanks for posting your fabulous images,

Cheers,

Ralph.
Hi Ralph, Thank you for the kind words.

It does work. My friend (the advisor) and I were on a trip to a reserve in France (the Brenne). I had my camera on the floor of the car, he didn't

I got several pictures of the hoopoe on the road in front of us, he eventually retrieved his camera from the boot, and didn't get a shot!



I don't always do it either, but do try when I am local. Which has let me take pictures of birds of prey and a weasel family...so I do recommend it.

And my wife does most of the driving too. She prefers it!

Peter
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Old 18th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Quote:
Originally Posted by art frames View Post
...appreciate the smiley, but it is a concern that the current success will cause a reaction amongst gamekeepers again.
Ah - the good old 'Custodians of the Countryside'!

Jim
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Old 18th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

Nice set of images
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Old 18th June 2015
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Re: A moment to treasure - red kite

A great set and the Hoopoe is a bonus.

Thanks for sharing.
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