Red Kite Fishing

The red kite survives on carrion.  Dead animals, decaying and starting to decompose are the most tempting of delicacies for these large raptors.

Cruising over the small pool near Rutland Water, fish that are already dead or very nearly gone are spotted.   Floating high on the thermals the kite circles, his high pitched call distinctive on the gentle breeze.  Working out the wind direction and speed and equally importortantly his exit route after collecting his meal he observes the scene below.

Circling for a final times he drops from the sky.  Sweeping low but avoiding contact with the water, something he needs to avoid at all costs he comes in for a grab of his find. 

The first attempt is a slippery affair.  The brown trout, long dead slips from his grasp and he aborts the mission.  

Circling high he comes in at speed for a second attempt, the dead trout perfectly positioned for a snatch retrieval.  Banking hard to avoid the reeds and grass on the bank he heads to the trees with his catch.  

Usually the red kite will eat on the wing, bending his feet up and his head down to consume the catch.  But, after the effort of a second attempt he is content to devour his well earnt meal from the shaded branches of the tree over looking the pond.


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