Red Kite and Buzzards at Hampen

Whilst a passenger in a car driving on the A436 from Andoversford towards Naunton on Saturday (about 13:30hrs) I spotted what appeared to be a group of buzzards – 1 big one and 2 smaller ones – circling in the sky ahead.  As we drew closer I suddenly realised the group was actually made up of two buzzards (Buteo buteo) and a Red Kite (Milvus milvus) and all three were in the process of aerial squabbling to the rights to some roadkill (an unfortunate pheasant).  The location was to the west of Hampen Farm (OS SP0474 2014) just south of the wooded old railway line.  As we passed by the roadkill, the Red kite was only about 10m above us and I’ve never been as close to one of these birds before and was struck by just how big they are – a fantastic moment! 

On a sidenote, I noticed during the roadtrip that there was a large number of roadkill pheasants around – always sad to see but on the plus side it means plenty of food for scavengers (as long as they can avoid the same fate).

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