Friday, 18 July 2014

Kite flying

There is a constant depressing message of the nature that we are losing...
but little on the success stories.  One of these is the Kite:

I first saw a Kite at dusk, after a long day MTBing, in a little graveyard near Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales over 20 years ago.    At the time I did not know it was one of these marvellous raptors  - I thought it was a beautiful carving on a headstone.  It was only the next day when I passed the same graveyard and the bird was gone that the excitement hit...  I'd seen a Red Kite!    At that time this was the only place you could see them, there were only a handful of breeding pairs in the UK.  They had almost been hunted to extinction on this island.

Move forward to this summer and I am sat in my back garden and look up to see one drifting over my house in the Low Weald of Sussex.  Then I saw two whilst out MTBing near Amberley on the Downs followed by many whilst driving up the M40 to Oxford.

The dedication of the various groups who have protected and re-introduced this marvellous bird have provided this success story for the Kite.   So that it can now be seen across the UK.  Image from here. My ride that day across the Downs brought a little bit of Awen...

Thermal drifting,
Windward drafting,
Lazily floating,
The kites hang high.

Wild recursive wings
Impossibly hang
Sickle tail drifts
The kites float by.

No string to anchor
Or gravity suck
A pair free floating
The kites hang high.

Loping along hedgerow the hare stops, stares
At high hanging raptors.  Flicks black tipped ears
And races dusty trackways back to his field of cares.

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