Monday 14 May 2018

MEGA Red Kite passage 80+ birds

What an utterly brilliant afternoon that was! The Red Kite passage over Seaton last year (see HERE) left a lasting impression and was easily one of my personal highlights of 2017. In terms of sheer numbers, today smashed the total we had from the two (main) days of passage last year.

I had the first one over the house at around 14:15 so I rushed out with the camera to take some dodgy pics of it. 2 minutes later when I was back in the office a quick glance out of the window revealed that there were another 3 flying towards me! So, back out with the camera and there were suddenly 5 above me. At this stage is was pretty obvious that there was some passage going on as all birds were heading West so I phoned Dad and we co-ordinated a watch from his garden for the next few hours. Even with both sets of eyes we will have missed quite a few birds; approx. half of them were easy to see i.e. between 100-600 metres away or so, but many of them were VERY high and some we only picked out by chance with the binoculars. Our 80 was slightly conservative as we reckon we had a couple more but didn't want to double count anything so any that were possible repeats were discarded. On the whole, keeping an accurate total was easy as nearly all of them were heading directly West. I suspect that the true number over Colyton this afternoon would have been slightly over 100 as some were already on the limit of our binoculars so others would almost certainly have been too high to see.

Ian Mc phoned to say he had a Hobby (and some Red Kites) from the A3052. Interestingly I had a few Hobbies passing at the same time as the Red Kites last year so it was nice for the same to happen this time. I expected it to be too high by the time it came over us in Colyton but it wasn't; it flew directly over the garden perhaps only 100 metres above us.

Photos were a challenge as the heat haze was particularly extreme so all pics came out slightly soft. Also please forgive the colours and shadows; the backlighting was quite tricky to deal with. Still, with passage events like this it's the thrill/experience that counts, and that was an afternoon I will not be forgetting anytime soon...


  1. Excellent stuff - even inland here have had 4 locally in the last fortnight, but was working indoors today.

    1. Good stuff! Always nice to see around here. Funny that apart from this year and last we normally only get a few patch Red Kites annually. Common in many places of course but they always give me a bit of a buzz here, especially in this sort of quantity...

  2. p.s. if this comes up a comment from fancystoats, (Alick), it wasn't ! Can't get him out since he logged into my computer two years ago !