spent the morning around Hatfield Peverel, Boreham & Terling area, (see Essex birding thread ) wasback on the A12 bridge as i was putting my camera back in the car the star of the day - a red kite passed very close and quite low between the trees and down the embankment towards the A12, by the time I got the lens cover off it was disappearing into the trees south of the A12!
A long long time is my guess.
We will obviously get Red Kite more regularly but sights like that will in my opinion be confined to the feeding stations if Wales,Chilterns and other similar sights.
There is no doubt they are spreading east and South from the Chilterns and rockingham populations respectively but I doubt they will ever be as numerous in Essex.
My guess is a number of around 30-40 pairs may set up home in Essex by around 2025
I think that is a very good assessment of the prospects.
I believe they were expected to spread out more from the release areas but the amount of feeding by locals makes it attractive for them to stay as it's an easy source of food although whether all of it is ideal for their diet is debatable, my photos were taken at the cafe at Studeley just outside stokenchurch where they are fed daily on cafe leftovers, sadly I don't think toast is a natural food for a red kite! (see attached photo)