View Full Version : Argaty Red Kites

Steve G
Tuesday 9th December 2003, 20:54
A new Red Kite feeding station has opened up in Central Scotland. Whilst mainly of interest to those living in the central belt of Scotland anyone coming up from down south to visit Granny at Hogmanay should consider a visit.
The feeding station is overlooked by a comfortable spacious hide on a working farm in the Braes of Doune. The farm is managed to encourage birds & other wildlife & when I was there on 8/12/03 there was a huge mixed finch flock as well as large numbers of "winter thrushes", Starlings, Stock Doves,etc. The site opened at the end of November & has had few visitors as yet but already December's birdlist includes Peregrine, Hen Harrier & Waxwings as well as Sparrowhawks, Buzzards & over 30 Red Kites.
The Central Scotland population of Red Kites have had a tough time as a result of poisoning & to date the re-introduction programme has been outwith the public eye. Now however, the opening of this feeding centre allows the public first hand experience of these beautiful birds & hopefully the increased public awareness will put added pressures on those who poison (either by accident or intent) these birds.
Anyone wishing to visit Argaty should check out their website for directions & visiting information. Despite the information suggesting advanced booking, visits are quite a relaxed affair & the owners are very friendly however it is a working farm.
This project should be supported by local birders-not just for the Kites but also for the way this farm is being run to maximise local bird population. The owners should be applauded for showcasing their wildlife-friendly farm which will hopefully attract other farmers to manage their land likewise. :clap:

Argaty Red Kites website is: www.argatyredkites.co.uk

Tuesday 9th December 2003, 20:58
Thanks for the info Steve, I have just been looking at your great pictures in the gallery. This bird looks fantastic in that golden, winter light!

Wednesday 10th December 2003, 14:56
There is also a feeding station for Red Kites at Bellymach Hill Farm, Laurieston village nr. Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway.This is near the r.s.p.b. reserve on the L.Ken/Dee marshes.This is a wintering area for geese spp.too.In fact you'll catch up with numerous other spp.Mereshead r.s.p.b. reserve for Barnacle geese isn't too far away as is Caerlaverlock w.w.t.

Chris Monk
Thursday 18th December 2003, 15:30
Northern red kites to return after 150 years

Plans to re-introduce red kites to north east England have received a huge boost with a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of more than 300,000 for the North East Red Kite Project.

The North East Red Kite Project is a world first in proposing to re-introduce the rare and spectacular birds of prey into a semi-urban environment in Gateshead's Derwent Valley.

Kites were once widespread throughout the north of England, but have been absent from the region for around 150 years. Now they are coming back!

HLF's decision to award 303,500 to the Red Kite Project has been enthusiastically welcomed by the project, which is managed by English Nature and The RSPB working in partnership with Gateshead Council, Northumbrian Water, The National Trust and the Forestry Commission.

they will be a valuable new visitor attraction for the area, helping generate income for the local economyThe project already has the financial backing of Gateshead Council, which has pledged 250,000 over 5 years, and Northumbrian Water who are donating 15,000 for each of the first two years.

Green light
With the green light from HLF, red kites could be back in the skies over Gateshead as early as next summer. The search will soon be underway to recruit a locally-based team to run the project.

The project partners have also revealed a new name for the project, which will now be called Northern Kites. A new logo for the project will also be unveiled.

Within a few years, red kites should be a regular sight over the suburbs of the city, and they will be a valuable new visitor attraction for the area, helping generate income for the local economy.

The kites could eventually be spotted soaring over the MetroCentre and might even adopt The Angel of the North as a perch! Opportunities for local people and visitors to watch the kites at special viewpoints are planned, along with community and education events.

Release to the wild
In summer 2004, up to thirty young kites - from an established population in southern England - will be released into the wild from a secret site in Gateshead's Derwent Valley.

Further releases are planned for 2005 and 2006. Kites may start nesting in 2006 and it is hoped that the population will become self-sustaining within a few years.

Richard Bailey, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund's Committee for the North East which made the decision to award the grant, said: 'People don't necessarily associate wildlife with their heritage, but we consider it to be just as important to the region as our historic buildings, traditions and parks.'

Welcoming the news on behalf of Northern Kites, RSPB Regional Director Andy Bunten said: 'We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery Fund has chosen to award such a significant sum to this exciting project. Red kites have been absent from the skies of northern England for far too long and we are all looking forward to helping bring them back home.'

Tony Laws, Area Manager for English Nature added: 'Without the lottery money it wouldn't have been possible to bring back this stunning bird of prey. We're confident that the red kites, with their five-foot wingspan, rust-red plumage and forked tail, will be a major benefit to Gateshead.

'The return of the ospreys to the Lake District has been a huge boost to the local economy there, and we're hoping that Northern Kites will achieve similar gains for the North East.'

david kelly
Thursday 18th December 2003, 16:28
I wonder if there are any plans to reintroduce the Red Kite to south-east Scotland, now that we are saturated with Buzzards, Goshawks are expanding and Ospreys are colonising.

This would probably join up the populations in Dumfries and Galloway and the proposed one North East of England.


Chris Monk
Friday 19th December 2003, 08:46

Red kite swoops for record flight

A Scottish red kite has set a flight record after being found 1,200 miles away in Portugal, according to experts.
The bird was found with a broken wing by quarry workers near Porto and is being treated by vets.

RSPB Scotland said it hoped the bird would make a full recovery after its "amazing" flight.

Duncan Orr-Ewing, of RSPB Scotland, said he will watch the bird's home near Stirling to see if it returns.

Mr Orr-Ewing said: "This is an amazing record although the circumstances in which the bird was found are unfortunate.

"In spring 2004, we will be watching the bird's home area near Stirling to see if he comes back as is usual for this species."

Scotland's sporting estates have been blamed for many of the illegal poisonings of red kites.

RSPB Scotland has said there are only 53 breeding pairs of red kites north of the border and that more than a third of the red kite population in northern Scotland was illegally poisoned between 1989 and 1999.

In April this year, four red kites were killed using an unapproved pesticide.

Chris Monk
Friday 19th December 2003, 14:47

Red kite sets new flying record

A Scottish red kite has set an astonishing long distance record. The young bird was found in northern Portugal, more than 2,000 kilometres away from its home in central Scotland.

The kite has flapped its way into the record books with the longest distance flight of any UK red kite.

Workers at a small quarry near Airao, just north of Portugal's second largest city of Porto, recovered the bird. The bird was identified by its unique metal leg ring and by red wing tags.

Suffering from a fractured wing, it has been taken into care at a Raptor Recovery Centre at the nearby Alvao National Park. The kite has since undergone veterinary treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.

The lucky adventurer will be released in Portugal after Christmas and then RSPB staff will be keeping an eye out to see if it returns home.

The RSPB'sDuncan Orr-Ewing said: 'This is an amazing record, although the circumstances in which the bird was found are unfortunate. In spring 2004, we will be watching the bird's home area near Stirling to see if he comes back as is usual for this species. Red kites are strong fliers and this journey should not pose a major problem provided weather conditions are favourable'.

'...we will be watching the bird's home area near Stirling to see if he comes back'The RSPB is deeply involved with red kite conservation work in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. Having re-introduced them in several parts of Scotland and England to bring them back after persecution all but killed them off in the 1800s, they are now beginning to get a foothold in many of their historical strongholds.

The record-breaking kite was originally tagged by RSPB staff at a breeding site near Stirling in June 2003. He was last seen at the Argaty red kite-viewing site at Doune in mid-October.

Niall Bowser, the farmer who runs the Argaty red kite viewing site said: 'This adds another fascinating angle to the red kite success story and will be of interest to our many visitors. This makes you realise that our popular initiative is just a small part of the European conservation effort for this threatened species'.

The previous record of a Scottish red kite involved a bird near Dingwall, Ross-shire, which was later found near Bilbao, Spain in 1999 after colliding with power lines.

Duncan Orr-Ewing went on to say: 'It's been a mixed year for red kites in Scotland. 2003 has been one of the worst years on record for illegal poisoning with nine birds confirmed deliberately killed to date. However, red kites are now breeding across the country and to meet public demand to see this magnificent bird, viewing sites have been established at Doune, Perthshire, and at Mossdale, Dumfries and Galloway'.

For details about red kites viewing at Argaty, please see the link on this page.