Red kite above mowed field at Stancombe Beech
I drove up to the top of the Cotswold hills above Stroud skirting Bisley and stopping at the Stancombe Beech Farm Shop. I had to check on my card sales there as I need to do a stock audit before starting printing again later this week. I bought a few plants too which took my fancy, mostly ones I’ve never grown before.
The shop was closing at lunchtime just as I was leaving, but I asked Ashley if I could stay on as I’d spotted some swallows in the farmyard at the rear where they regularly nest. I did try hard to get good pictures but it wasn’t my day. Either they were flying too fast for me to focus, or else were too far away. But it was delightful standing there watching the varied bird life. At one point I saw a blur over the copse of trees in front of the farmshop, and realised it was a red kite. I know they have been seen there before but I had never seen one near Bisley.
I made my way round to the road as I deduced that the intermittent engine noises I could hear were from a tractor in the neighbouring field and that they were likely to be mowing the hay. This turned out to be the case and I saw several birds following the route of the tractor making diminishing circuits around the field. there were several large gulls a crow and a red kite.
I filmed them from a distance and hoped that when the tractor came round past me I would get a close up, but the kite stayed on the far side. I walked around the road for a few hundred yards t where it was flying, and sometimes dropping down to the ground looking for animals in the mowed grass.
I was lucky at one point when it flew towards me and I could get this shot in a sequence. Soon after four buzzards started mewing and then flew very quickly overhead and this disturbed the kite, but it circled around and then continued following the tractor. I then saw a kestrel flying very fast over the field and at one point hovered before dropping onto the ground. I felt very lucky to have seen three types of raptor within two hundred yards of each other at one time.
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III