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Red Kites - Oxford

Discussion in 'Photographic Locations' started by OneTen, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    I'm heading up to Oxford on 18 July for the AP meet. I was wondering if there's a particularly good place in the area to photograph Red Kites.
  2. bench_ubbster

    bench_ubbster Well-Known Member

    Whenever I used to go to the offices in Abingdon I saw Red Kites near the A34. So I should think anyware near Didcot, Steventon, Abingdon or Harwell. Mr Hotblack should be along and tell you better than me.

    I used to sit in very boring meetings looking at the hovering Kites. At least I don't have to suffer those meetings anymore :rolleyes:
  3. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    Cheers Richard. I hadn't appreciated just how widespread they'd become in the Chilterns area.
  4. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    They're everywhere around here. I regularly see several whilst I'm sat at the pooter looking out over our back-yard. And one visits the neighbours garden most days to scavenge on the carcasses their cats have left. Most days when I'm out on my bike I see one or two circling over the Ridgeway. I never get tired of seeing them though.

    The best place is up by Watlington however. Many residents put food out in their back gardens so there's always plenty around that area.

    They're pretty widespread around here but photographing them is a b*gg*r. I'd suggest going over to Gigrin Farm in Mid-Wales and stumping up the tenner or so to go up the tower they've built overlooking the feeding ground.
  5. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    They are regulars close-up in the village of Hambleden (which is uber-photogenic anyway), but for sheer numbers I'd try the Aston Rowant nature reserve (the one the cutting on the M40 runs right through...).

    They really are everywhere round here...

  6. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    David/Adrian, thanks for the info.
  7. Still_Togging_Along

    Still_Togging_Along In the Stop Bath

    They can also be seen in the centre of Reading, due to 'kills' on the railway lines. There are also Muntjac Deer living in the cemetery at the junction between the Kings Kd and London Rd. About as difficult to get a decent photograph of as Red Kites.
  8. Angela_Nicholson

    Angela_Nicholson Well-Known Member

    Watlington would be my call too, there always seem to be loads of them playing about in the sky there. If you venture a little further towards Henley, you will find there are lots above the fields around Stonor too. Listen for their whistle if you don't see them. It's very distinctive.

    They are the most fantastic creatures and they seem very intelligent and quite curious about humans. A couple of weeks ago I was flying a kite (as in a fabric thing on string) at Bix Common and a couple came down to check it out. They spent a few minutes circling it and even whistled at it a few times before flying off when they got no response.

  9. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    Thanks, Watlington it is then. I've done some scrub clearance work for The National Trust along the Chilterns and we had Red Kites circling just a few metres overhead, it was quite amazing.
  10. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    Also try Stokenchurch on the M40. It was one of the original re-introduction sites and have seen as many as 6 or 8 circling over the cricket club ground. A local tells me that, if you take some cheap chicken pieces along as bait, you can get as many as 20 or more coming to feed.

    These were taken there.
  11. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    We went to Christmas Common on Watlington Hill and saw plenty of Red Kites, unfortunately the weather wasn't great. It turns out I've been there before doing scrub clearance for The National Trust.

    One image but the cloudy background wasn't ideal.
  12. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    Nice capture. Watlington Hill is close enough to Stokenchurch that they are probably the same birds.
  13. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    I somehow doubt that Norman. The population of Red Kites in the area is rather large.
  14. Per

    Per Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. I can report a couple of sightings north of Ascot now. I saw 14 at once on New Years Day near the Honey Pot (on the Thames downstream of Henley). Marvelous birds.
  15. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    I was out cycling the other morning and a field was being harrowed next to the road I was on. Amongst all the seagulls, rooks and crows that had gathered around 15 Red Kites were wheeling around overhead. I'd only seen six at one time before. They're breeding rapidly around here. :)
  16. Simon_md

    Simon_md Well-Known Member

    I went to Watlington this morning to see the Kites - loads about in the Village but not many up on the hill.

    Not great weather or light this morning, this was about the best I could manage :

  17. poldie

    poldie Active Member

    Interesting - I'm no bird expert but I struggled to identify a bird I took a picture of last week at Hampstead Heath, London. I'm starting to think it's a Red Kite. According to Wikipedia they've not been spotted in London for years up until 2006. I tried using the RSPB site to identify based on location, feather/beak colour/shape etc but failed. When I get home I'll take another look and perhaps let them know that they're perhaps starting to get more common in London.
  18. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Can we see the picture? :)
  19. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    If it has a 'V' shaped tail then it'll be a red kite. The wings tend to be quite angular also. A buzzard has much more rounded wings and tail and has a much softer outline. As Erm says, a picture would be good to help identify it for you.
  20. poldie

    poldie Active Member

    Sure - looks like I have to upload it somewhere then link to it. I'll get onto it!

    Uh..ok, can't get the image to appear here (instant mark-up isn't quite so instant) but this is where I stuck it:


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