More raptor revelations, Broadway, March and April 2014

Mark Turner

Once again raptor euphoria has come to Broadway heightening our hopes for a successful breeding season in the locality. As I write single Red Kite sightings are cropping up around the village from the Gravel Pit Nature Reserve and the railway on the west side to the village centre and the Cotswold escarpment on the east side.

Christine and I thought ourselves lucky to find two Kites together hanging aloft with several Buzzards near Bourton-on-the-Hill and Batsford Park on Mothering Sunday. However, Christine got the ball rolling again when she discovered two Kites over Broadway village heading for the escarpment on Wednesday 2nd April. Happily she followed them home from where I was able to enjoy the sight for myself as they paused on their wanderings over hillside woodland not 10 minutes walking distance from our place. One of the Kites launched an attack on a nuisance crow before re-joining its partner to wheel around the woodland canopy. It was all quite surreal. Our last view of a Kite that afternoon was from the kitchen window at 17.25 hrs as it followed the village bypass up the hill looking for a take-away.

All this comes at a time when local Buzzards are cranking up activity with thermaling groups of up to eight birds engaging in talon-grappling, barrel-rolling and undulating display flights. Single Buzzards are even touring around residential estates searching gardens from rooftop height.

We even have Ravens appearing in pairs on a daily basis; it’s becoming like a mixture of the Chilterns and mid-Wales round here. It all helps to get the local grapevine fired up again and just when I thought our raptors had peaked-out in their fortunes here.