Winter Roost Watch

It's been a while since I last updated this blog.

It has been a busy winter season. Red Kite monitors spend hours in the field locating Red Kites and following up sightings and reports to locate  roost sites through the winter. There remain some traditional Winter roost sites where the birds seem to go back to each year, but it always remains a challenge to find new ones.

Red Kite Tours have been hosting some regular Winter Roost Watches throughout the winter, since the end of September. Successful Roost Watches always depend very much on the weather conditions. Red Kites love a dry windy day to come out and perform. But when they do, it truly is spectacular and heart warming to see.

"The social nature of the Red Kite is best appreciated by visiting a major communal roost site on a winter's afternoon. Aerial activity is greatly increased when there is a moderate to strong wind, as the birds are able to fly more efficiently, with less energy expenditure."  Ian Carter.

The last few weeks of February will see an end to the Communal winter roost gatherings and the Red Kites will then separate and spread out to find their own breeding territories, looking forward to Spring, the warming weather and a successful breeding season.

Out and About Today

Out and about today while checking on the red kite roost, I was watching a single red kite wheeling and swirling in the strong, chilly wind. Eight whooper swans flew overhead. Honking as they flew by. Down along the banks of the River Bann over some muddy, wet fields, a flock of over two hundred lapwings raised up and down, up and down. Away in the distance in another wet, muddy field, a dozen more whooper swans were feeding.  Finally, as the sun went down, in darkness, fourteen red kites settled at the main roost.