Friday, 28 May 2010

Kite caught 'cat-napping'!

I checked one of my local kite nests again today and this one is situated in a mature larch wood which has a thick luxuriant growth of grass at base level because the relatively open canopy allows the sunlight to get through. On my approach to the nest I climbed a gate and skirted around the field below the nest wood. I was a bit concerned because I couldn't see a kite flying around and had visions of the nest having failed. I walked quietly through the wood edging closer towards the nest and then to my surprise I found myself standing under the branch of a larch tree near the nest tree which had one of the adult birds perched on it! It sort of had its back to me and was about 35-40 feet up. Clearly the bird had not heard or seen me approach. I was quite proud of that actually! Anyway I quietly set up my scope and trained it on the nest. I honestly thought the bird was sick or something but in fact I think it was just 'cat-napping' and enjoying basking in the warmth of the sunshine. Parenthood has taken its toll on it I think! Anyway I kind of 'deliberately' made a noise to alert it as it was getting quite embarrassing by now. So here am I looking at the nest with my scope standing directly under the bird which should have been alert and guarding it. I reckon that would be a sackable infringement in the human world! The bird 'woke up' startled and rapidly vacated its perch!
Anyway I was quite amused by the whole episode. I've never gotten so close to a bird of prey without being noticed before. Oh by the way there was a single downy chick in the nest. Lets hope when it grows up its more alert than its parent!

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