Red kites spotted over Stone
There have been sightings this week of red kites over Stone, a bird of prey that’s considered extremely rare in Staffordshire.
The bird – with its reddish-brown body and distinctively forked tail – has been spotted several times according to reports on social media.
The red kite was on the edge of extinction by the end of the 18th century, with only a few breeding pairs surviving in rural mid-Wales. Reintroduction programmes mean there are now thought to be over 600 breeding pairs in Wales, and the bird has been spreading to other parts of the country. Sightings in Staffordshire, however, are rare.
A Little Bit of Stone asked over on our Facebook page if anyone had seen one - and lots of people had!
Dave Babb said: “Definitely saw one flying over Stone Business Park one morning last week on the way to work, no doubt whatsoever, the tail shape is unique among birds of prey in this country.”
Kim Hill added: “We were leaving Stone back to Stoke along the Longton Road and my mum stopped the car because she was convinced she saw two. In fact, she said they were definitely red kites. And she knows her birds!”
Mark Cocker said he saw a red kite this week, tracking the railway line over Westbridge industrial estate.
Jane Proudman said: “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a red kite as they’re doing really well. I’d be delighted if I saw one though!”
Richard Knisely-Marpole said: “It’s quite possible. There are plenty of red kites around, and they are definitely spreading.”
Have you seen a red kite over Stone? Leave a comment below if you have – and 1,000 bonus A Little Bit of Stone points to anyone who manages to capture one on film