Monday, June 01, 2009

Let's go spy a Kite*

Powys has a logo - it's on everything; Council stationery and publications, the fleet of refuse wagons, uniforms; you name it and if it belongs to Powys the silhouetted image of the Red Kite is there.

This bird of prey was once very common - common enough in the 16th century to be regarded as vermin, a threat to agriculture. So-called 'Vermin Acts' required them to be killed. The persecution continued throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and towards the end of the 18th century their extermination was almost complete in England and Scotland; a few pairs managed to survive in rural mid Wales. An unofficial protection programme saved the Red Kite from extinction and now, over about 100 years the birds' numbers are slowly increasing.

Apart from on Council property they're still pretty rare around here. I've seen more in the Chilterns than in our part of Wales where it has come to represent the County. A sighting is still worth a mention and I keep promising myself a visit to the Red Kite Feeding Station at Rhayader.

However, today I saw my first Red Kite sweeping and soaring in the skies over the small mountain kingdom of Trelystan. I hope it is the first of many.

Excellent. Well worth a mention in dispatches.

*Couldn't resist the title


Eliane said...

I occasionally see a Red Kite here in the Brecon Beacons at the southern tip of Powys. But this weekend in Ceredigion I saw 8 at once. Fabulous. then four more flying low over our campsite. A picture may follow on the blog once I get round to updating. They are magnificent birds. Always a thrill to see one.

Zoƫ said...

Definitely worth a mention in despatches! Its one of my ambitions to spot one too. I think the closest they come to us is across the Malverns.

I've been known to follow soaring Buzzards for miles, we see them over the cottage a lot.

Pondside said...

Gorgeous bird - what a thrill to see one. Bald eagles are our big birds over here.

Twiglet said...

We see one occasionally over Roundton but its mostly buzzards. Its well worth taking a ride to either of the feeding stations. The one on the Aberystwth road is in beautiful surroundings. Wipso took me there once - a perfect day out!

Friko said...

I've seen red kites here in he South Shropshire Hills. Do go to Gigrin (?) Farm at Rhayader, you'll see the sky black (or red) with them there at feeding time. Ditto buzzards and ravens. It's a spectacular sight.

Buzzards are ten a penny now, of course; we also have goshawks nesting in nearby woods.
Happy days, wildlife is slowly recovering from mankind's ministrations.

Nikki-ann said...

Great title! I occasionally see a kite or two between Kerry & Newtown. I keep meaning to go to Gigin too, never seem to make it though.