WOLD RANGER RAILWAYS - Railway photography around Yorkshire and the UK

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Red Kite Roost

The bird I most associate with the Wolds
On a sunny but chilly afternoon we headed to the winter Red Kite roost near the town of Pocklington on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, this annual gathering of these magnificent birds of prey being one of the highlights of the year in this part of the county. I'm sure most local people are aware of the location where this spectacle takes place, though again, as I did a few weeks ago, I would urge people too never be tempted to trespass in order to see these birds (as per advice from the Yorkshire Red Kites group). In the end the number of Red Kites actually recorded didn't reach some of the reported maximums of the last week, though large gatherings were seen to the south (11+) and east (9+), of these only a small number actually drifted close to our vantage point which we shared with several other birders whom braved the chill wind to marvel at (and photograph) these raptors.

One of the many Red Kites seen during the afternoon

Unfortunately they never got that close so all these pics are heavily cropped

Another beautiful Red Kite

Meanwhile as the sun fell over the flat plain of the Vale of York to the west we were treated to a fine sunset, the sky becoming a rich hue of warm tones as the sun dropped ever lower and finally disappeared below the far off horizon. To the east the earth shadow was likewise an attractive sight, the subtle pink colour which marks the boundary of this phenomena being so hard to capture photographically but nevertheless beautiful to the human eye. Eventually darkness began to descend upon the Yorkshire Wolds and as temperatures began to rapidly fall we decided to head home, though before we left we were treated to the sight of a Tawny Owl passing over our heads, truly a fantastic way to end a cold but rewarding few hours in the countryside I love most.

A Red Kite silhouette at dusk

Sunset

Sunset over the broad acres of Yorkshire

Fiery skies

Even industrial structures can look attractive in the right light