Red Kite: In-flight Series 21st November 2021

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N Deacon
N Deacon Contributing Member • Posts: 880
Red Kite: In-flight Series 21st November 2021

Yesterday afternoon when parking near a local site I spotted a first-year red kite working slowly into the wind along a field beside the road. I made a gamble and quickly walked to a location where I thought I might intercept its flight path. It paid off, and not only did the kite come my way, it was clearly curious about me and flew over to take a closer look - sometimes too close, which is rarely a problem By the the end of this encounter my left arm was really feeling the burn, especially with the strong wind to contend with. Initially I was only intending to post one or two, but - well, hopefully you will forgive me.

All shots hand-held, reduced in size for posting.

Coming my way ...?

Yes, definitely coming in the right direction

Eye contact and coming straight at me! Note how the kite uses its long, forked tail for control in slow-speed flight.

Flying close circles around me.

Catching the frail autumn sunlight, tail fanned.

Directly overhead. By this point I was struggling, as the bird was filing the frame and I was clipping off wing and tail tips as it circled.

Details ... definitely a bit close now, but a rare privilege to be so close to a wild raptor that was on the edge of extinction in the UK but has made a remarkable comeback during my lifetime.

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