With the news about the Red Kites at Stocksfield adding to what is likely to be the best year for the last couple of hundred for breeding of this species in Northumberland and the increasing number of individual sightings around the county at sites such as Prestwick Carr, Bothal Pond etc I've been wondering about how they'll expand.
Will their range expansion follow that of Common Buzzard by (first) pushing West then North and finally into Central Northumberland with the coastal belt and the South East colonised last or will the Kites historical and geographical tendency to have a greater association with man result in a different spread?
The proximity of this latest publicised nest to a farm and busy tearoom might suggest that we may well see a different pattern of spread from this particular raptor.
Will the City of Newcastle prove a barrier to the Kites? It may not be as much of a problem as it first seems. Gigrin Farm the Welsh farm converted into a Kite 'feeding station' that regularly attracts three figure numbers of Kites is only 1/2 mile from the nearest town.
Amusingly in the Chilterns one of the earlier and successful release sites people are now feeding Red Kite from their garden and some of the local conservation bodies have had to put out a Guideline leaflet surrounding this activity.