Red Kites in North East England.           
Report sightings sheet

Please forward any sightings using this sheet, especially for those outside of the Lower Derwent Valley.  This information can prove invaluable to our two Monitoring Teams.  One Team tracks on the north of the A694, the second Team is responsible for the south side.   This is a huge area, so we do value any sightings information which you may be willing to pass on to us via our Webmail.


Red Kite Monitoring 2016 European Wintering Red Kite Census 2016

As part of the European wintering red kite census 15 volunteers took part in roost checks within our area on the 8th and ninth of January The main count was centered on Nine Arches/Gibside with two other area's covered Victoria Garesfield (and area) and the Derwent Gorge. From the viewpoint at Nine Arches 3 volunteers and from Lockhaugh Farm 2 volunteers counted in 32 Kites going into three different roost area's the main two being 9 into Hollinside Manor and twelve into various parts of Gibside woods the remaining nine were either dropping into other area's or were lost from sight when they flew in behind woods.

3 further volunteers had disappointing results watching from Derwent Gorge /Mugglewick with no kites seen.

On the Friday evening 3 volunteers observed Victoria Garesfield and had 10 Kites going into roost. A further volunteer watched from Lintzford and although he reported up to a possible 14 kites moving over the wood they may well have been the same birds ranging around the woods Seven is more likely a more accurate total. The most seen at one time in the air was six. At 4.15 a very wet and bedraggled kite carrying food coming in from Hamsterley Mill headed straight for the wood.

Two further volunteers watched from Victoria Garesfield on the Saturday and reported eight Kites going into roost although visibility was very poor. Watched from Lintzford Garden Centre a volunteer noted kites were coming from the south and west these seemed to use the area as a meeting place as they circled around in small groups (of 2 to 5) for a time before moving off. 14 kites in all passed through with only 3 drifting off east presumably towards the roost at Gibside. 11 drifted off north presumably heading towards the Victoria Garesfield roost..

Other birds seen were notably Buzzards a pair at Nine Arches and 4 at Lintzford

 


 WT 43 Blaydon W Forster

 Robert  William Forster of Blaydon enjoyed a good view of Wing Tag 43, Swift, released in 2005.

Swift was adopted and named by  Whitemere Community Primary School, Gateshead.

 


 Mick Render reports with this video of kites at Causey Gill:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=U4ywgxqm-Dg 

 Causey Gill kites


All our chicks are ringed and tagged by licensed Northumbrian Ringers 

 https://northumbriaringers.wordpress.com/projects/red-kites/

 



  Red Kite down   Saturday 7th February 2015            

 

UNTAGGED BIRD FOUND  at ALLENSFORD                           Report  by Allan Withrington, Monitoring Team

At 16.31 on 07 Feb 2015 my phone rang. The caller was Christina, duty Vet at Prince Bishop Vets. My heart sank.   'Oh no, not another one, ' I said to myself. Rescued kite

 It wasn't another, although it was a Kite Down situation. A lady had brought in a kite  which was frothing at  the mouth.

'Is it very bad?'  I asked. 

'It does seem poorly,' was the response.

'Give me 20 minutes and I'll be with you.'   So I went.    It wasn't a happy kite that I saw, but one that was feeling sorry for itself. It still had a small amount of frothy discharge from the beak.  I suspected a case of poisoning, so needed expert advice.

I left , arranging that the kite could stay overnight and that they would try to get some liquids into him.  I said I would talk to our chairman, then call them to let them know what was to happen. I was able to contact Ken and gave him the news, stating that I was going to try and talk to Chris Bennett,  our contact and Corporate Member at Talon Falconry.  Ken agreed and I successfuly called Chris who listened to what I had to say and then offered to come over and have a look. We agreed to meet at the Vet's straightway.

After Chris had looked the bird over, we decided he would take it home and on to his Vet in the morning on the way to work. On getting home Chris and Mrs. Bennett managed to get some liquid into the bird and settled it down for the night.

Next morning the Vet , an avian specialist, examined the bird, which was a little perkier than the night before and decided to keep him overnight.

09 February 15    The Vet's report to Chris cheered him up; the bird was much brighter. Chris collected him and took him to the aviary in Centre where he was offered food and kept under surveillance until Tuesday.

The next morning I got a call: 'Allan we are going to have to get this bird back out; he's going daft wanting to be out of the aviary.'   So we made tentative arrangements to get him out before dark. In the event these had to be cancelled.

11 Feb 2015 at 15.45    I met Chris Bennett at my home.  Anne had arrived a little earlier, so he transferred the bird to my car and we proceeded to Nine Arches via Lockhaugh and the cutting. When we arrived we were greeted by not one, not two, but three kites, so we decided to release him quickly to pick up the company .

Pictures were taken and he was set on the parapet and on the slightest release of pressure by Chris he was gone. I was looking through the camera lens and never saw his going.

Chris releases the kite 

Dropping only a couple of feet below he was up over our heads and away downstream a hundred yards or so then, veering right he circled a couple of times and crossed Kite Hill making for Hollinside Manor before disappearing into the wood below the ruin.

It may have been him who suddenly appeared over the river bank below Phillip's nest site a few minutes later but we will never know since he has no ID. We left the site after unsuccessfully trying to report "Mission accomplished" due to lack of signal, and drove off The Walk at Lockhaugh. Here we stopped again and was able to advise Ken that the deed was done.


Special THANKS are due and expressed to

  • Anne Rutter and her husband who found the bird and took him to the Vet's.

  • Prince Bishops Veterinary Hospital in Leadgate ( Once again) for their care and attention.

  • Chris Bennett of Talon Falconry for his immediate response and his decision to take the bird home with him and on to his Veterinary advisor.

  • Those same Vets who helped us to return A6 so successfully to the wild.

  • Chris again for caring for our bird for 48 hrs and bringing him back to Rowlands Gill for release.


Anne Rutter's report

Whilst out walking with our rescued King Charles Spaniel along the river Derwent at Allensford, we noticed a distressed Red Kite flapping beside the river. It was trying to take off but clearly didn't have the energy to do so. I tucked its wings in and picked it up. The bird was quite limp but I could feel every so often it tensed its muscles as if it were trying to fly, but didn't have the energy. It was also frothing at the mouth, so I guessed it had been poisoned. I must have carried the bird for a good half mile before we got back to the car park. A lady asked if the bird was ours and did we need any help. We explained the situation and she kindly gave us a box to put it in while we travelled to the Vet's in Leadgate.

Later that evening I received a call from Allan (Friends of Red Kites) saying it was being given fluid and had been transferred to a Falconer who was going to monitor the situation and look after it. A few days later I received another call from Allan saying the bird was going to be released and could I attend. I was absolutely delighted and wouldn't have missed it for the world! It was amazing to see the bird full of life and released back into the wild. Let's hope I don't have to do this again but I'm so pleased this story has a happy ending with the Red Kite where it belongs... in the wild.

Ann Rutter Chris
Anne Rutter and Chris Bennett of Talon Falconry with the rehabilitated red kite       Allan Withrington

 
If you encounter a kite incident, alive or dead please call 077 900 85659 and

let FoRK know as soon as ever possible. We will respond immediately.

Thank you.



  Report                    Monday   15  December 2014


Just thought I would let you know I have just seen Red Kite H5 at Burdon Moor this morning.  

H5   Burdon Moor 

H5 is one of two chicks born this year in Gellesfield, near Sunniside .   We are using new tags which make identification much easier, as can be seen in this second photograph.

WT H5   Ron Hindhaugh 

  Ron Hindhaugh


 

 Report                   Monday   08 December 2014

It looks like the main roost has moved away from the viaduct and headed West although a number are still pre-roosting at Hollinside Manor. They seem to be going further West than Far Pasture as I went to that location yesterday and Kites were still heading away further West so they could even head off in another direction after that.

 Mick Render

 


 Report :     Sunday 30 November  2014  

 

Lower - Mid Derwent Valley

Fantastic sighting, observed FOUR red kites circling and cruising in 2 pairs, over 2 fields, all in close proximity to each other and frequently immediately overhead. Other dog walkers also present to confirm!

Very calm, clear sunny weather, excellent angle to sunshine, so we could see the lovely russet colours clearly. Observed for 20 mins at least, they were still there when I moved on.

 

                                                                                       Y. Clark      Blackhill, Consett



Roosting Red Kites       

Following an excellent breeding season for the kites when a record number of thirty-five chicks fledged our monitoring team's focus has now switched to checking birds at roost. Red kites form a communal roost in the autumn, initially made up of failed breeders and juvenile birds. The best place to view this spectacular event is from the Nine Arches Viaduct in the Derwent Country Park, Gateshead.

Roosting kites were first noted on September 22nd when 11 kites flew into the Paddock Hill wood. Numbers are starting to build now and at least 32 came into roost on Sunday 19th October which is 30% more than this time last year.

Several of this year's fledged chicks have already been recorded at the roost.

Numbers will continue to increase as we move deeper into winter and mature kites leave their territories during the colder months to join the roost.

Report:    Ken Sanderson         Kite Officer

 

Happy kites   Derek Bilton
Image courtesy of Derek Bilton

The kites are becoming increasingly active and the numbers coming in to roost sites are mounting.     The image above is typical of the kites' sociability as they sky dance together.

01 November 

Mick Render reports:

D5  Mick Render

Image: Mick Render

We had another good evening at the roost today, I managed to ID D5. Alan counted 41 on his clicker and I counted 34 in the air at the same time so all in all, another good night. The temperature has hardly dropped so I think we'll have quite a few more arriving as the weeks go by and it gets colder. I've also ID'd G3 & H0. 

G3  Harold Dobson 

Image: Harold Dobson

H0 Gibside

                                    Image: Ken Sanderson                                                            

27 October  Ken Sanderson    Kite Officer

A6 in rehab   June 14 

Some great news, A6, the male of the Hamsterley Hall pair, who was released back into the wild in July following rehabilitation in June, has at last been sighted. Mick Render recorded him at the roost on Saturday 25th October along with at least 34 other kites with 25 kites being seen in the air at one time. On the same evening Allan Withrington discovered a small roost in the Riverside area (west Rowlands Gill), viewed from the RG viaduct, with at least 4 kites dropping in there.

On the 23rd, the Thursday team were monitoring the Upper Derwent Valley and noted one kite above Castleside. A drive round Edmundbyers, Muggleswick, Derwent Gorges and Allensford produced no further sightings.

Last night ( Monday 27th), at least 38 kites came into the Meadow Roost site. At one point 9 kites lifted and 4 appeared to head off over to the West Wood, Gibside with the other 5 dropping back. Just before dark 4 kites came in from the West Wood direction so I'm assuming it was the same 4 that headed out that way. The following kites were ID'd whilst feeding on the ground in the rough pasture in front of Hollinside Manor: H5, H0, J4 & G3 along with 3 other untagged juveniles of this year. H5 and J4 have already been recorded at at roost this autumn but HO and G3 haven't. HO is one of this year's juveniles fledged from the nest behind Gibside Chapel and G3 is a 2013 fledgling from the Hamsterley Hall nest. 


Following an excellent breeding season for the kites when a record number of thirty-five chicks fledged, our monitoring team's focus has now switched to checking birds at roost. Red kites form a communal roost in the autumn, initially made up of failed breeders and juvenile birds. The best place to view this spectacular event is from the Nine Arches Viaduct in the Derwent Country Park, Gateshead.

Roosting kites were first noted on September 22nd when 11 kites flew into the Paddock Hill wood. Numbers are starting to build now and at least 32 came into roost on Sunday 19th October which is 30% more than this time last year.

Several of this year's fledged chicks have already been recorded at the roost.

Numbers will continue to increase as we move deeper into winter and mature kites leave their territories during the colder months to join the roost.

Ken Sanderson

Kite officer

 


Our Monitoring teams are out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, covering the core region around Rowlands Gill and beyond. Here is a group at Winlaton Mill.

Out monitoring the kites 

Look around you when you are walking, cycling or even riding on the Red Kite buses; the kites are likely to appear almost anywhere in the lower Derwent Valley, over housing estates and beyond.



  Much of the work is thanks in no small measure to the constant monitoring done by our three Teams and other volunteers, who send in sightings from all over the region.


We are very grateful for reports of any possible sightings away from the core area.  Please send in via the mailbox, giving as much detail as possible.    This is especially relevant for areas in County Durham, in Tynedale  and in the  north  of Northumberland.  

Causey Gill 

 Causey Gill   near Beamish

Derwent Reservoir

Images courtesy of June Atkinson

Derwent Reservoir



  Guidance in 'Bird Photography - a new code of practice' published by British Birds covers both of these topics.   www.britishbirds.co.uk/articles/bird-photography-%E2%80%93-a-new-code-of-practice