Coquetdale Wildlife Group

Sylvia Jones gave an extremely enthusiastic and well illustrated talk on the red kite project to members of the Coquetdale Wildlife Group.

It is 10 years in July since the first bird was released in Gateshead. These wonderful birds are carrion eaters and do not eat game. They are not birds of prey.

The £1million project, run by volunteers in the Derwent Valley, is succeeding in bringing the birds back to the north.

In 1989, chicks were brought from Spain to the Chilterns and other chicks from Germany went to the Black Isle. Now there are over 2,000 pairs in the Chilterns but the birds in the Black Isle were persecuted.

It is easy to see them in Rowlands Gill from September to early spring and, with their five-and-a half-foot wing span, they are spectacularly visible.

The birds are weighed and tagged when young. Sadly many are disappearing due to persecution and indiscriminate killings.

The next talk for the Coquetdale Wildlife Group will be on Monday, September 1, when Will Nicholls will talk about his book on red squirrels.