Red Kite, New Fancy View

Red Kite

Not the raptor one goes to this Forest of Dean lookout to see and so, all the more welcome. Goshawks are the usual target species but in the hour I had left at day’s end, they didn’t show. A few distant buzzards raised hopes momentarily but their obvious dihedrals soon identified them.

The kite was another matter – quite puzzling as it loped across the horizon – and its long tail certainly got the pulse racing. Eventually it banked enough to show windows in its wings and the game was up. Closer inspection of the tail revealed its fork, so red kite it was.

This, added to earlier mandarin ducks at Cannop Ponds (I can count them this time, can’t I?), a singing chiffchaff at Bittell yesterday, the day before’s jack snipe, plus avocet and ring-necked duck that I didn’t report – these six species push the year list up to 134 and me back into the Bubo top 50. Barely.

Still no wheatears or sand martins despite a detour today up Clee Hill for the former. Hey, just thirty or so miles out of my way. Doesn’t everyone do that?

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