East Yorkshire Bulletin (6) added 21st Sept 2012


Bulletin No. 6 September 2012. This bulletin complements the Yorkshire Red Kites Newsletter Issue 14 now available at: www.yorkshireredkites.net

The overall figures for the 2012 breeding season show an increase in new young so we continue to remain confident about the long term success of the East Yorkshire Red Kite population. We are pleased to report that 8 known breeding pairs were indeed successful, an increase of 2 from 2011. Several tangible factors resulted in nest site monitoring being particularly difficult again, just as in previous years, with a trend for established pairs to ‘up sticks’ and move to new nest sites.

Unfortunately, 1 established pair which was inadvertently disturbed in 2011, resulting in them ‘deserting’, failed to return to the nest site this season.

As we do not have access to three known nest sites, we have had to resort to observing from the public highway. The regular presence of birds at two of them and the sighting of fledged young indicated that both were successful this season.

We and the owners of nest site EY11 were delighted that the pair, new but unsuccessful in 2011, decided to return and this time bred successfully.

Read more: East Yorkshire Bulletin (6) added 21st Sept 2012

Newsletter (14) added 17th September 2012


Newsletter – Issue (14)

This Newsletter contains details of the 2012 Yorkshire Red Kite breeding season and news of other developments since the previous edition. More information about the birds and the Project is available on the above website, where there is also a facility for reporting sightings and other information.

Breeding in 2012:

Territorial pairs: Pairs were located at 30 sites at which a presence had not been recorded in 2011. It is likely that these were a combination of new pairs; pairs which had been present but undetected in 2011 and some which had moved from other locations – no fewer than 18 sites occupied in 2011 being vacant in 2012. Overall, 94 territorial pairs were located, an increase on the 2011 figure of 82. Some of these were in new areas and confirmed the ongoing geographical spread and consolidation of the population away from the core area.

Confirmed breeding: 92 breeding pairs were confirmed – 18 more than in 2011. 78 pairs were successful and raised at least 145 young. Several nests failed at the small chick stage, it being likely that the combination of torrential rain and cold nights took their toll. Conversely, young which were well-feathered stood up well to the frequent bouts of heavy rain to which they were subjected. The average young raised per successful pair (1.86) was down on the previous figure (2.10), though the overall results were appreciably better than expected.

One nest failure occurred due to its partial collapse - whilst there were remarkable escapes at two others, they being found in heaps on the ground. There were no remains of young birds underneath them and searches in the surrounding woodland produced sightings of fledged young. In another instance two young were apparently blown from their nest, being found on the ground below. One was dead but the other was alive and well. The fortuitous availability of a ‘cherry-picker’ enabled the live bird to be placed in a safe position in a tree close to the nest site. It survived, as did a third young one which had escaped being blown from the nest.

Read more: Newsletter (14) added 17th September 2012

Red kites seen flying over Leeds city centre

From a report on the BBC News website - http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/leeds/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9300000/9300160.stm

It is now 11 years since the process of reintroducing Red Kites into Yorkshire began at Harewood in 1999.

The birds are being seen on an increasingly regular and widespread basis, even in urban Leeds, a sure sign that the programme has been successful.

Red Kites are large birds with a distinctive forked tail.

The project officer Doug Simpson said: "The programme got off to a cracking start with successful breeding in the first 12 months and never looked back."

Doug has been involved since the start of the release at Harewood when 69 young birds were released between 1999 and 2003.

Read more: Red kites seen flying over Leeds city centre

Red Kite poisoned in Nidderdale

From the North Yorkshire Police website (http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/index.aspx?articleid=9303)

Wildlife officers are investigating after an endangered bird of prey was found dead in Nidderdale.

In May 2012 a fieldworker was monitoring Raptors on Lofthouse Moor when he came across the body of a Red Kite near a cattle grid.

The bird had been dead for a few days and it appeared to have been feeding on a baby rabbit at the time of its death.

The fieldworker alerted officers who suspected that the bird had been poisoned.

Natural England sent the bird for a post mortem under the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme, at the Veterinary Laboratory Agency in Thirsk, but an obvious cause of death could not be found.

Further samples were sent to the Food and Environment Agency at Sand Hutton, near York, where toxicology tests established that the Ride Kite had been poisoned by a combination of banned pesticides.

The toxicology tests also revealed that the bird had eaten rodents which had been poisoned using commonly available rat and mouse poison.

PC Gareth Jones, a Wildlife Officer for North Yorkshire Police, who is investigating the incident, said: "The use of rat and mouse poison is a common problem which puts the lives of Red Kites and other birds of prey in danger.

"It is the responsibility of anyone who puts down poison to control rats and mice, to collect the dead rodents and dispose of them properly.

"It is a great shame that another Red Kite has been killed in North Yorkshire particularly as they are an endangered species and have only recently returned to the county.

"These birds should be cherished and North Yorkshire Police's Wildlife Crime Unit takes this kind of incident extremely seriously. If anyone has any information about this incident or any other bird of prey persecution, please contact the police or Crimestoppers as soon as possible."

If you can help officers with their investigation please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 - select option 2 - and ask for Gareth Jones or Ripon police.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The RSPB also have a confidential reporting line 0845 466 3636.

2.48pm - 14 August 2012

Harry Witts Orange/Red 7 Drawing March 2012



Harry Is Good With Numbers!


Eleven year old Harry Witts a junior member of the YWT together with his younger sister Ella is an active member of the Cottingham Wildlife Watch Group. On a recent visit to an East Yorkshire red kite roost with the CWWG Harry, and other group members spotted coming into roost one of the few red kites left in East Yorkshire to have retained it’s wing tags. Seeing a tagged kite always adds interest for everyone. So much so Harry decided to record the event by drawing the tagged bird. The bird identified as Orange/Red7 fledged from a nest at Harewood in 2003 turned up in East Yorkshire where it was first recorded nesting in 2005, and has remained ever since






Drawing of Orange/Red7 by Harry Witts Aged 11.