BLAGDON LAKE BIRDS

Red Kite



Red Kite Milvus milvus [Linnaeus, 1758]

Red Kite M.m. milvus

(Very rare IR & PM)

  1. One, not aged, Winter 1907 (D. Carr).*
  2. One, not aged, 24th Dec. 2002 (N.R. Milbourne, S.E. Caola et al.).
  3. Two adults, 22nd May 2010 (N.R. Milbourne).
  4. One, not aged, 26th March 2012 (N.R. Milbourne, M. Churn).
  5. One, not aged, 8th June 2013 (S. Isgar).
  6. One, not aged, 9th June 2013 (A. Barr).
  7. One, adult, 7th July 2013 (G. Davies).
  8. One, not aged, 13th May 2014 (D. Wheeler et al.).
  9. Eight, not aged, 19th May 2014 (N.R. Milbourne, P. & L. Delve, R. Curber & T. Doman.).
  10. One, not aged, 18th May 2015 (P. Williams, M. Cottis).
  11. One, not aged, 7th March 2017 (N.R. Milbourne).
  12. One, not aged, 18th June 2017 (S. Davies).

Donald Carr reported "One seen during Winter 1907."

Sue Caola and I visited Top End hide late on the afternoon of Christmas Eve 2002 to look for a Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris that had been showing in front of the hide for a few days and while walking back towards the Ubley entrance, I noticed a Red Kite flying in low from the NE over Ubley Hatchery towards us about 50 - 80 metres above the trees. I was able to put Sue and another couple who were walking with us onto it and the key identification features were readily noted including angled wings, deeply forked tail and pale upper wing coverts as it twisted in flight towards Snatch Farm and out of view. Although it was searched for the following morning, the bird was not seen again.

At 1638 hrs on 22nd May 2010, I spotted two birds drifting NE high over Butcombe Bank on the the day after getting back from a bird watching trip to Extremadura in Spain. It is quite surprising that the second record has taken so long, given the rapid increase in the UK population, and although it may not happen in my lifetime, it would be nice to think that these amazing aerial acrobats will become a regular feature of the local avifauna in the near future.

The third sighting was of a bird flying east along Breach Hill ridge when the author and angler Mike Churn were trying to follow the flight of an Osprey Pandion haliaetus that had just left the lake and was departing north-east. Both birds were seen at Chew Valley Lake immediately afterward; Richard Mielcarek spotting the Red Kite and Andy Davis the Osprey.

Simon Isgar reported seeing a bird being harassed by Common Buzzards over Grove and Rugmoor Farms while grass was being cut for silage. The following evening, Alastair Barr reported seeing a bird flying north over the Mead in Blagdon being harassed by a corvid. It flew towards Butcombe over the dam end of the lake.

The next sighting was made by Geoff Davies who writes: "At the end of my late visit to my BBS square at Blagdon I saw a superb adult Red Kite on 7th July on north shore of Blagdon Lake (Dam end) disturbed by a magnificent adult buck Roe Deer."

I should point out that the sighting of eight birds on 19th May 2014 by the WeBS team was incorrectly reported as nine birds in the Avon Bird Report 2014. The correct number is given here.

Bibliography (sources of information)

  1. Davies, G. in litt. email 19th July 2013.
  2. Davis, A.H. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2002. Avon Ornithological Group.
  3. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2010. Avon Ornithological Group.
  4. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2012. Avon Ornithological Group.
  5. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2013. Avon Ornithological Group.
  6. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2014. Avon Ornithological Group.
  7. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2015. Avon Ornithological Group.

Updated 18th June, 2017