30 Days Wild – Day 17

Definitely not the wildest day, I had to drive to the north-west of England and back. However the journey north took my past Oxford where, despite the rain I saw two red kite flying low over the road. Although they have quite wide range in Europe they do seem to do especially well in this country. I can remember seeing my first one, when they were one of our rarest breeding birds and confined to the uplands of mid-Wales. Like many people I associated them with the hills and high pastures, but they really thrive in productive lowland landscapes.

Red kite needed a helping hand to return to England in numbers, buzzard and raven made it unaided once there was a relaxation in persecution. The sight of a large(ish) bird of prey always adds a little “Wild” to any day. Perhaps one day we will have white-tailed eagle back on the south coast too, as they supposedly used to breed on the Isle of Wight. More realistically I feel sure we will eventually have breeding osprey, although at their present rate of spread I doubt I will see it!


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