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Raptor Migration Count, 25 Sep, Autumn 2014. Red Kite (?)

Yesterday Robert (Robin) left: a big big hug from all of us for this enthusiastic and smiling guy!

The Raptor Team

The Raptor Team


So, the Raptor Team has become smaller and again we had to ask for reinforcement from the Ringing team. Alexandra from Serbia was at the hill with her many questions.



It has been a windy day yesterday, and the migrating raptors appeared only in the afternoon, in small numbers, but we’ve had a better day today. Not big numbers, since the migration is naturally declining, but a nice observation: one kite that looked like a Red Kite (Milvus milvus, Ψαλιδιάρης)!

This species is a partial migrant, with only individuals from northern populations migrating and wintering mostly in Europe and is very rare in migration along the Eastern Flyways.

However, as the individual was moulting, we can’t be 100% sure that it wasn’t one of those rufous Black Kite that look like Reds.

Red Kite - ph Giacomo biasi

Red Kite (?) – ph Giacomo Biasi

Also, quite a few Sparrowhawks and still some Booted Eagle, Honey Buzzard and Marsh Harrier. Of this latter species, we are still seeing adult males.

The season changes, the sun is setting earlier every day and the temperatures are getting milder, and, among the dry rocks of this arid hill, some unexpected color appeared: a few Ciclamen bloomed in the shade of the northern, fresh side of the rocky top.


Yesterday’s count (24/09)
Lesser Spotted Eagle: 1 subad
Booted Eagle: 5
Black Kite: 1
Marsh Harrier: 5 (3 male)
Honey Buzzard: 1 juv
Eurasian Sparrowhawk: 2

Today’s count (25/09)
Booted Eagle: 1
Red Kite: 1?
Black kite: 2 ad
Marsh Harrier: 17 (5 males, 3 females, 3 juv)
Honey Buzzard: 25
Eurasian Sparrowhawk: 7