Speen - We spent the weekend in the Chilterns visiting old friends where we managed to get out and about on two contrasting mornings weather wise: Saturday being cold and frosty, Sunday wet and windy. It was good to connect with species I don't often encounter back home on the Marsh, so the likes of Tawny Owl, Jay, Coal Tit, Woodcock and, of course, Red Kites. Also of note were good numbers of Redwings and Fieldfares, a few Skylarks, Mipits and Grey Wagtails and thousands of Woodpigeons leaving woodland roost sites.
Twenty five years ago I visited the reintroduction site near Christmas Common in the Chilterns for an article in Birdwatching magazine, where over a five year period 93 kites were released into the surrounding countryside. The majority of birds originated from the Spanish population, with a handful from Sweden and Wales, and the first successful breeding was recorded in 1992 when four pairs raised nine young. The rest, as they say, is history, and today there is a thriving population of Red Kites in the Chilterns, such that wherever we went over the weekend these iconic birds were in view, even soaring over Prince`s Risborough town centre.