Tuesday 8 February 2011: Scruffy kite...
The sun has shone, and we've had glorious blue skies all day. To celebrate, Pete and I took the dogs to Bedford Purlieus to see if the stinking hellebore was flowering yet. We found plenty of plants, but they need another week or so before they are in full flower.
However, there was other excitement! As we entered the reserve a red kite flew off from a nearby tree, really very low - of course I hadn't even got my camera out. I tried to get myself organised as quickly as possible, and was amazed when it was joined by three more. We watched them swirl lazily around high above us before they drifted off over the trees. I had fired off a few shots, but they were really too distant and too silhouetted against the bright sky.
Cursing my inefficiency, I turned to proceed with the walk, but a couple of minutes later two of the kites returned. I managed another couple of shots, and this time the light was better. I know this is not a perfect image, as I don't really have a long enough lens, but I think it captures the essence of this glorious raptor soaring in a blue spring sky. It's a shame it has a rather scruffy tail though!