Wednesday, 24 May 2017

15+ Red Kites and 3 Hobbies in 90 minutes...

What a brilliant afternoon!

I had to vacate the house at around 15:00 as a viewing was booked so I took the opportunity to go and look for some dragonflies at Lower Bruckland. A few minutes after my arrival a Hobby and 2 Red Kites drifted in from NE and were all quite low. I hastily sent out some messages before taking a few dodgy shots; they were heading towards Colyford/Seaton so I wanted to give the other birders as much time as possible to get out and wait for them to (hopefully) fly over. Some of the birds today showed very well, within 100 yards or so, but unfortunately I was only armed with my 'small' dragonfly lens and therefore not at all prepared to take pics of what was yet to come...


Red Kites

Just after sending out the first messages, a 3rd Red Kite joined the first 2 then they headed WSW and then another 2 flew over. Could they be the same ones turning around whilst I was typing on my phone? No, these were tidier looking birds so definitely a 4th and 5th.

In total I saw at least 15 Red Kites between 15:20 - 16:50. It may have been a few more as the last 4 seemed to linger and fly higher but it was hard to keep tabs on all of them at once. It's possible some of the ones I saw slightly later on were more birds but I didn't count them in case they were repeats of the ones which flew higher. Still, 15 Red Kites is bloody good around here regardless of how many may have been missed! There were at least 3 that I missed when comparing the timings of my sightings with Steve's, but likely a few more as well.

In with the last group of 4 Red Kites were 2 more Hobbies bringing my total for the day up to 3 (and 4 so far for Spring). Interestingly I don't think the Hobbies were seen elsewhere or at least I haven't seen any further reports, but they were associating (perhaps just by coincidence) with the Kites when I had them. The first Hobby was with the first 2 Kites and they eventually headed off in the same direction with the Hobby moving first, then the latter 2 Hobbies were both up with the 4 Kites and stuck with them for a while. This was all rather spectacular to watch; at one point there were 4 Red Kites, 2 Hobbies and 1 Buzzard all in one field of view.

Sorry for the lousy pics; hopefully other people got some better shots. I regret only taking my small lens!

Red Kite

3 Red Kites, 1 Hobby & 1 Buzzard

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