Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Red Kite


IMG_3696We pulled pins from Stoke Hammond and cruised towards Linslade with Sharon and Lew on nb Diana who also pulled pins ,didnt you Lew !. We stopped at the bottom of 3 locks to fill with water. No need for Lew to worry as Sharon expertly brings Diana into the water point.

IMG_3698This is a flight of locks that normally has Volunteer lockies on duty. Today there were 2 very friendly and helpful lockies who helped us up the flight. As we leave the top lock Carolyn decides to jump ship.

IMG_3701The Master back at the tiller as Lew takes over from Sharon.

IMG_3706We picked up this mooring together just before Linslade and just our luck it decided to rain.

IMG_3716After an hour or so the rain eased off and I was lucky to get this picture of a Red Kite. We have never seen them this far North and usually see our first ones when we get closer to The Chiltern Hills.

IMG_3739I was also lucky when He/She landed in this tree. Red kites were driven to extinction in England by human persecution by the end of the nineteenth century. A small population survived in Wales, but there was little chance of these birds repopulating their original areas.Between 1989 and 1994, kites from Spain were imported and released into the Chilterns by the RSPB and English Nature (now Natural England). Red kites started breeding in the Chilterns in 1992 and now there could be over 1,000 breeding pairs in the area. The reintroduction has been so successful it is not possible to monitor all the nests, so the overall size of the population can only be estimated.Since 1999, chicks have been taken from the Chilterns to reintroduction sites in other parts of the country.The red kite reintroduction has proved to be one of the greatest conservation success stories of the 20th century.

IMG_3763The following day and the Sun came out as did the chairs and the wine. We also indulged in a snack of Smoked Oysters like you do when sat on the Towpath (John West £1.99p in Tesco). Tomorrow and we will be off on our travels again heading South .We had a great few days in their company but unfortunatly Sharon and Lew will be off in the other direction, but hopefully we should meet up later in the Summer.

                                                                                                                       Happy Days

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