Here in East Northamptonshire it would be difficult to pass a few hours when out and about without seeing a Red Kite floating overhead. The reintroduction of this species to the area from a zero presence has been an absolutely unqualified success over the last twenty years or so.
Commitment, dedication, effort and hours of hard work by conservationists like Julie and Steve Thornton of Kettering amongst many others have assured the future of this bird of prey in the county.
In particular, as feeders on carrion, road kills really attract them which is why on country lanes and even more major roads they are never far away, drifting around along the verges looking for a quiet moment to drop down and feed on casualties such as Pheasants and Wood Pigeons.
On occasions I have picked up a road kill pheasant and put it out on a field in an area favoured by Red Kites, let me tell you that whilst they are happy to drift around low over road kill they are certainly not stupid, I have said that cars make good hides, in my experience not with these guys !
The unseasonable mild weather to date this winter sees them pairing up already and sky dancing as part of their bonding rituals.
What fantastic birds they are.