Red Kite Milvus milvus
Nr Amersham - 23rd November 2006
Photos copyright Andrew Moon
This juvenile/1st winter Red Kite was photographed near Amersham, which has become a good place to see this species. These photographs clearly show the attractive upper and underparts plumage of this age bird.
Ibstone Common, Nr Stokenchurch - October 2004
Photos copyright Adrian Parker
Pictured at one of the local hot spots for this species.
Radnage, Nr Stokenchurch - 2003
This group of Kites were apparently all after the same bit of food.
Photos copyright Gerry Whitlow
These superb pictures were taken by Gerry near his home at Radnage which is pretty much the centre of Kite activity in Bucks. Gerry created a website (www.hyelms.com) a couple of years ago and a visit is highly recommend to see plenty more pictures of this fantastic raptor.
In the first half of the 19th century, it is considered likely that Red Kites bred in most of the larger woods in the county (per Birds of Buckinghamshire) but they then died out as a breeding bird, probably due to persecution. Prior to the 1960s, when there were three records, there was a gap of 53 years with no Red Kite records! There were a further two in the 1970s followed by an increase in the 1980s prior to 1989. In 1989 the English Nature/RSPB release scheme started thereby hiding any genuine vagrant birds. Numbers have gradually built up since that time and now this magnificent bird is now a daily sight to many people living along the Chilterns along the Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire border and in many areas on central and south Bucks. Red Kites are also a commonly seen hunting of industrial and residential areas on the western side of High Wycombe. The expansion into North Bucks has not been as marked, probably due to less suitable breeding habitat being available.