I was walking home one evening and I saw them in the sky: red kites, as if they were a flock, flying low around the entrance to the block's parking, crying their hawkish cry. Sadly I could not take a picture, my phone having problems at the moment. Not sure that I could have, even with the right camera. Flying birds are elusive, flying birds of prey are even more so. But it was striking to see and hear them so close. Recently, for whatever reason, I could see them from much closer than usual. A week ago I saw one perching on the branch of a pine tree, something I had never witnessed before. And there was that strange flock this week.
So sadly, I have no picture to accompany this post. But you can read more about red kites on this website. They used to be near extinct, now they are numerous again. You can see them all around Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, but I never noticed them until I arrived in this town. And even then it took me a few months to notice them. But since then, well, it is as if I can only see the red kites in the sky. We have sparrows, pigeons (I could do without them), crows, plenty of black birds, but the red kites are the most distinctive avian neighbours. And I learn to really appreciate their presence. I love all birds of prey, it is great to have so many, so close. And they make this part of England unique.