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Red Kite - the Recovery

Red Kite - the Recovery
Photo Information
Copyright: Nigel Deacon (Merlin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 445 W: 267 N: 455] (1713)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-02-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1600 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-09-17 11:17
Viewed: 3831
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Red Kite Milvus milvus is a beautiful, graceful raptor that is making a remarkable recovery in the UK. When I was a boy, there were less than ten breeding pairs clinging to existence in mid Wales - near where I lived at the time. It has been suggested that the number of breeding females fell to as low as two at one stage, and in the 1980s the species was regarded as globally threatened. Since that date the Welsh population has thrived, and reintroduction projects in England and Scotland have established new population centres, with current estimates being close to 2,000 pairs, and with a large population of non-breeding young birds. This is a truly amazing recovery, and hopefully this species will become the common bird that it was in Shakespeare's time, when it was notorious for stealing "small items of clothing" from clothes lines, which were incorporated into the kites' nests!

This bird was photographed in the English midlands, one of the reintroduction sites, and I could watch up to 20 birds airborne at once. There was snow on the ground, which is always a treat for photographing birds in flight, because the snow-reflected light illuminates the underside of the bird, showing detail and colour that is usually in shadow.

This is a bird in its first year (second calendar year - 2CY), and is one of the new generation of English wild-bred birds (no wing tags).

flashpoint, Marco2010, marius-secan, ramthakur, mad_hatter1984, rousettus, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To flashpoint: "Cannon?"Merlin 2 09-17 13:56
To pirate: 2CY?Merlin 1 09-17 13:37
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Critiques [Translate]

Awesome shot Nigel, one that deserves to be printed big!


majestic capture with your "cannon lens", Nigel
great visual impact and detail

Hello Nigel,with the wings across the verticals in a perfect composition and the details sharp and clear this is very fine photograph.Just stunning.

Ciao Nigel, great capture of beautiful raptior in fantastic fly, perfect focus, splendid sharpness and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-09-17 12:06]

Hello Nigel,
One of the best photos of a Red Kite I'ver ever seen.
Directly into my favourites.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-09-17 12:07]

Hello Nigel,
very fine captured of the in flight Kite. Excellent exposure and focus with awesome details on the plummage!Best regards Siggi

Ciao Nigel. Great frontal for the imponent bird in flyght. Perfetc details, magnifcen light. TFS.


Ciao Nigel.
Grande scatto di questo nibbio reale fotografato con una grande nitidezza,eccellenti i particolari,bellissimi i colori molto bella complimenti.
Ciao Marco

Great light here, snow really helps
well done Nigel
btw taken in February this bird is in it's second calendar year ;-)

Hello Nigel,
Brilliant capture of a very interesting and nice species of raptors. Very nice colors, good details and sharpness. The light is superb falling on the birds wings from a wonderful angle. The focus and WB is at the highest quality range.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-09-17 15:20]

Hi Nigel,not easy to comment a fantastic pic like this! Magnificent details and colors and spectacular wings position!.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

In my town in north India, Kites are almost a menace, Nigel. Hundreds of them can be seen hovering over the seasonal river flowing through the town. When I was living in Delhi until 2010, I saw thousands of them -- filthy, dirty and repulsive -- scavenging on mountains of garbage dumps. I guess that makes me reluctant to point my camera at them.
Your Red Kite, on the other hand, has been salvaged from the point of extinction.
Your picture of this specimen shot in winter is excellent. As you say in your note, the snow on the ground acts as a reflector to illuminate the underside of its wings which are rich in detail.


hello Nigel,
what a magnificent shot. great diagonal composition. fantastic sharpness.
best wishes,

Fantastic in flight photo Nigel! The pose, the composition, the colours and the sharpness are excellent!!

i love this bird, outstanding capture, perfect picure !

sinceri complimenti Nigel !

ciao, tino

  • deons Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 0 N: 55] (595)
  • [2012-09-17 23:49]

Hi Nigel
What a lovely in flight shot of the Red Kite, sharp and lots of detail.
I am very happy to hear that the numbers of this wonderful raptor have increased so dramatically!
From a Canon user who thought only long Canon L lenses can do these photos.
TFS Deon

Breathtaking shot, amazingly sharp with great colors. Well done.

great capture! tfs

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2012-09-18 14:40]

wow! nice action in-flight shot!
the focus is very well managed


Hello Nigel,
An excellent in-flight capture,nice sharp details of plumage,nice natural colour and very well balanced composition.
Thanks for sharing,
My best regards,

perfect capture and great composition, TFS Ori

Hi Nigel
Excellent in-flight photo, beautiful colour and clarity. I like how you were able to hold the detail in the shadows against a bright sky. Great composition and eye contact.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-02-10 18:59]

Hello Nigel,
You are very fortunate that this attractive bird has rebounded in numbers from the all time low of ten breeding pairs. You have captured it while inflight perfectly, allowing us to see it's beautiful plumage in this wonderful image. Simply gorgeous!!

Hello Nigel
Red Kite is one of my dream species. Black Kite is common here, but this is very rare. You are lucky not only seeing, but also capturing with a great shot. Thanks for sharing this beauty. Well done.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-02-17 2:32]

Hello Nigel
this is a real nice inflight capture. Very specially frozen to give the details and features seen in great interest. How lovely to note its pattern of the feathers formation and the sharp eyes.
Very well presented indeed.


Hi Nigel,

The bird is well positioned in the frame. The point of view is showing the details and colours of the Red Kite in flight. It is very sharp. The good luminosity is bringing out the colours. Have a nice day.


Hi Nigel,
What a nice shot with fantastic sharpness.
Best wishes,

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