Saturday, 7 June 2014

Red Kites?

When I should have been doing the last blogs about Amsterdam or writing up the bands I saw on Thursday or Friday, or setting out how I was going to sort out that hospital, I went out and had a chat with my friends the wild horses.

I walked among them, only feet away from newly born foals.

I’m not blogging about that because all of a sudden everything went still and silent – no birdsong….and I saw a majestic bird of prey;


I have no idea what it is (can you help?) but my guess is that it’s a Red Kite. They were re-introduced around Oxford and parts of Wales about 20 years ago and have been spreading out since.



Prey birds were always persecuted – gamekeepers poisoned them, but round here we are plagued by rats, mice and rabbits – so there is plenty of food going.

Up on the hill above the Thames, I’ve caught sight of something several times, but I wasn’t sure.

Today I was entranced by the slow circles it made as it hunted.



              A Kestrel for a Knave


 'An Eagle for an Emperor, a Gyrfalcon for a King:

 a Peregrine for a Prince, & a Saker for a Knight,

 a Merlin for a lady, a Goshawk for a Yeoman,

 a Sparrowhawk for a Priest, & a Kestrel for a Knave.'


  from the boke of St Albans, 1486,


So, definitely a Kestrel then.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


  1. Hi Neil, That beautiful bird is a Red Kite, one of my favourite birds to watch in the sky.

  2. Many thanks for that - glad to see you are OK again.