Thursday, 4 July 2013

The future is bright for the Red Kite

This afternoon, Tom drove us along the A44, through Capel Bangor, and on to Blwch Nant Yr Arian. Here, we strolled down a little wooded track, a steep incline to our left, a gentle slope downwards to our right.  After about 100 yards, we came to stop at the edge of a small lake, whose banks were bounded by a tall pine forest on virtually all sides.  All was quiet.  We craned our necks upwards.....and we waited.  Other members of the public gathered too, scanning the skyline.....and they waited.  Wildlife enthusiasts with elaborate cameras mingled also, casting their eyes high.....and they waited.

Hundreds of years ago, they were deemed to be vermin, and ordered to be killed.  In the 1880s, they were extinct in England and Scotland.  Their numbers nearly perished in Wales.  But today, at 2.59 pm, one minute before feeding time, hundreds of Red Kites began circulating high above the waiting gathering, and over the coming minutes, they swarmed overhead like bees round a honey pot, zooming down one after another to the opposite bank to grab a piece of the daily 3 pm feed.  We were last here in 2001, when they were nearly extinct in this area.  We returned today to learn that the Red Kite has made a comeback, with around 750 pairs in Wales today.  Thanks to the efforts of many people who care, the future is looking bright for the Red Kite.

The feeding ground for the Kites

Tom, members of the public, and wildlife enthusiasts

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