England

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England

Postby Jeffie Boy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:17 pm

I've been lurking for the last year or so as I don't consider myself a true birder and since I had nothing of value to add, I've been keeping my mouth shut. That said . . .

Just got back from England. We were wandering through Windsor Castle one afternoon when something caught my eye. I walked over to the window and looked through the glass. There were at least two Red Kites sitting in the wind, soaring back and forth along the perimeter wall about 100 feet above the park grounds below. The intensity of their colour was very obvious from my angle. I had read where the queen was instrumental in having them reintroduced to the Windsor area a while back and that they were beginning to repopulate the area. One of the attendants (guards) leaned in over my shoulder and confirmed that they had started with 2 pair and that now there were 28 pairs in the immediate area of the castle. So, while my wife spent 20 minutes looking at 600 year old wallpaper and paintings, I spent the same time looking out the window and dreaming. Felt this was worth sharing.
Just another middle-aged guy who likes to stop and view the flora and fauna while driving 50km each way to work each day through the Region.
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Re: England

Postby Peter C. on Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:08 pm

Jeff:

What happy memories your story has dredged up for me! (And good to hear that HRH is doing something constructive! As a dyed-in-the-wool Canadian pinko republican, have very little time for the "upper crust").

On my first trip to the far side of "the Pond", I remember being quite keen on trying to find a Red Kite. I had purchased a bird-finding guide to the UK, and it told me that the species were rare - indeed, were in danger of extirpation from the isles - but could be found in a few of the wilder regions of Wales. So, one of the things I made sure we had space in our itinerary for a trip to one of these places; we took a few days to drive to Gilfach Farm, near Rayader in the county of Powys. And this proved to be a magical sort of place, well worth the diversion; not only did we find a couple of Red Kites, but also Whinchat, Common Redstart, and Pied Flycatcher. To top it off, it had the best landscapes we saw in the whole country.*

I was perversely disappointed, however, to find that my book's info. was already several years out of date. Thanks to recovery efforts (like the one of which you wrote), the Red Kite is doing much better now, and we saw them a couple of times again as we drove back through England, just drifting about over the highway.

I suppose their status is a bit like that of Merlins and Peregrines here - twenty-five years ago, a sighting was a cause of considerable excitement, now, nyaaaaah (*shrug*)... another bird in the neighbourhood.

PC.

*This did not, alas, leave us with sufficient time to visit Windsor Castle, and see the wallpaper and the paintings. Pity.

We did tour Hampton Court, though. Lots of stuff to look at there, but a bit short on birds.
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