Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Majestic Red Kite

We were out visiting an archaeological dig in Carmarthenshire last weekend, when I spotted this fine red kite. It was late in the afternoon on an indifferent day, but there were evidently enough thermals up above to keep the kite soaring gracefully overhead.

Only last week I spotted a red kite much closer to home. We see kites quite frequently; and it is easy to forget that until a few years ago, the future of this beautiful bird was truly in the balance.

I have attempted two red kite poems to date. Gwyneth Lewis, the first National Poet of Wales, has written a particularly striking piece, 'Red Kites at Tregaron' in the seren anthology, Birdsong, compiled by Dewi Roberts. The volume also includes the poem, 'Red Kite over Heol Nanteos' by Mike Jenkins.

Two questions:
1.) If you were given one word to sum up the red kite, what would it be? My choice, of course, is 'majestic'.
2.) Leslie Norris wrote a powerful poem about the buzzard (see Birdsong). For myself, I find it hard to get excited about buzzards: does anyone reading this feel a fascination for these birds; and if so, why?

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