We’re lucky enough to have a pair of red kites nesting near our home. Once in decline, their numbers are now on the increase thanks to conservation efforts. According to the RSPB, “there are probably around 1,800 breeding pairs in Britain (about 7 per cent of the world population) – about half in Wales, with the rest in England and Scotland.”
They are handsome birds – I could watch them for hours gliding effortlessly over the house, calling to each other in a high pitch whistle. They have been so intent on collecting nesting material that we have, on occasion, startled them in the field and found ourselves eyeball to eyeball. Though sadly never when I have a camera.
I made a special effort last weekend, camera in hand, braving intermittent rain showers and a cold northerly wind in the hope of capturing one as it soared past the house. I watched them stripping twigs from the branches of trees and carrying clods of moss into the distance. Always a little too far out of reach for a quality, crystal clear shot. I will try again…
In 2016, I managed to get up close and personal with some red kites – here’s a link to an old blog post.
Canon 7D MKII with 400m f/5.6 L lens.