HECK OF A GOOD TIME IN WALES
OCTOBER 6, 1999 - WALES - We were up early and left the 300-year-old Fountain Inn in Trellach Grange and headed northward staying on quieter backroads. A couple of little walks on Public Footpaths yielded several birds including a Blue Tit and the cheeky little Robin. The sudden invasion of a small herd of cows cut short our walk at one location. A stop at an easy viewpoint overlooking a valley brought the most exciting sighting of the day - a Red Kite! We could not believe our good fortune as it soared fairly low overhead. The Red Kite was named in Wales as The Bird of the 20th Century for it's recovery from near extinction after being condemned to exterminatiion by Royal Decree as a "vermyn" despite the fact that they are scavengers that do their bit by cleaning up carrion in the countryside. We later read that by 1977 the entire population of kites in Wales "emanated from just one female". By the time we saw and photographed this Red Kite in 1999 the population of breeding pairs had increased to about 200. Weren't we lucky?!