Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Gardening with Kites

Two Red Kites. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Earlier this week I went up to a friend's smallholding near Aberystwyth to help her with her garden (she's recently had major surgery).

As I tidied up the front of a grassed-up stone wall, I found two frogs (one small and yellowy and the other full grown and much darker). There were two big Canada Geese in the field behind me, and I heard the first cuckoo of the year. Two Orange Tip butterflies fluttered about in the company of a Small White. Above me I heard what I thought was a Buzzard, and looking up, I saw a pair of Red Kites. Kites are the success story of the century, coming back from the brink of extinction in this country with just a few breeding pairs to a very healthy 672 - 840 estimated pairs in 2007. This wonderful site will show you some amazing photographs and videos. Enjoy.

Anyway, as I worked, I looked up again and counted TEN pairs of Red Kites swirling in the sky above my head. I always feel very privileged just to see ONE kite, but ten pairs were amazing. I always count myself to be so fortunate to live in countryside so rich in wildlife.

Back at home, my new (Niger) seed feeder has attracted firstly Goldfinches and now the Siskins which Rowan said she has visiting her seed feeder. I have never seen them in my garden before so I am thrilled. If I get the Redpolls she has visiting her garden too, I shall be over the moon as I've never seen them before either - not anywhere.


  1. I'll swap you some redpolls for a couple of red kites! What a marvellous sight that must have been.

  2. What a wonderful thing to see such glorious birds - and so many at once!

  3. They are magnificent birds aren't they, and I love the birds on your feeder. We took friends to the Somerset Levels yesterday and saw swifts and a hobby too.

  4. We have a lot of red kites round here - the best place tosee them is Princes Risborough, but we often get them over the house, too. :)

    BTW - I was up at the woods today and it does seem that ash has the edge on the oak.

  5. Wow, last year when we were staying in a village near Aberystwyth we saw loads of Kites and were amazed by them every day. Lucky you with the bird feeder visitors.

  6. oooh! I just lost my comment! What I was saying was... my friend lives in Reading in a top floor flat. The other day he was watching a couple of pairs of Kites from his window! Couldn't believe it!

    You're soo lucky to have Siskins visit you!!



  7. we have several pairs of siskins come to our niger feeder as well as assorted finches, sparrows, dunnocks etc. my mum who lives five minutes away has redpols so i am hoping they start to venture this way soon!
    must keep my eye open for kites, we have a pair of buzzards though and i love them

  8. How fantastic to see so many Kites - we are lucky enough to live near a reserve with a breeding pair of Osprey, who return each year, just wonderful!

    Oh, and I saw the first swifts here yesterday!!

    Willow x