Monday, 10 June 2013

Black Kite at Selling near Faversham Kent

I was down at Pegwell Bay this morning at 6am looking more in hope than expectation for the Bee-Eater that spent the weekend there. I thought I heard the bird around 7am but couldn't find it despite a good search. A pair of Turtle Doves, a Cuckoo and several Ring Necked Parakeet kept me entertained but as I stood watching with the warden and another guy at around 8am they saw the Bee-Eater take flight and head off high to the west but I have to admit that I couldn't be sure I'd got it in my bins which disappointed me.

Black Kite
Black Kite
I searched the reserve again and walked through to the playing fields beyond searching wires etc as I went but only found a Peregrine Falcon for my trouble sitting on the old shell of the power station.
At 10am news came through that a Black Kite was still present at Selling so I decided to try for that and made the 25mile trip back toward home up the A2 exiting at the M2 junction and driving the narrow lanes toward Selling. I parked up on the triangle and walked back to the area where Lee Evans and a few other birders had gathered and just in time too as the Black Kite flew in across the valley and came really close before turning and heading back over the trees only to be re found sitting in a tree giving excellent scope views. The bird is very flat winged with obvious fingers and light shoulder lines with that obvious kite rudder of a tail but not the fork we are used to seeing with our Red Kites.
This is my first Black Kite and moves the year list to 250 too.

Black Kite

The images are from distant and heavily cropped but I hope capture some of the birds character.


  1. There are actually two of them. Seen the pair over brenley between facersham and selling

  2. Hi
    on 3rd june we were having a bbq when my 7 yr old said. .Dad is that an eagle! We saw 2 large birds of prey circling over our chicken run, a fair way up. We have seen them twice since. We are 2-3 miles from selling !on the edge of Painters forstal.

    1. Hi, It's possible you could be seeing Common Buzzard as there are quite a few in the Selling area they tend to hold their wings in a v shape when soaring whilst the kite soars on flat wings. You also have Marsh Harrier there which could also be what you saw but then again yesterday you had both Common Buzzard and Honey Buzzard in the area and I also saw a Red Kite whilst down there but by far the most seen would be the Common Buzzards..hope it helps Brian

  3. Were these black kites around last year? During my frequent 'fresh air' breaks at work I often saw a very large bird with the fingery wings you describe around the field at work (a couple of fields away from the triangle where you parked). This large bird used to really upset the crows and would sit on the top of a hop pole or the pollarded trees. It used to catch my eye as I always gaze at the red kites that fly over my friend's house in Reading. I assumed that such a large bird of prey had escaped from Farming World or was being taken out for a walk by a falconer!
    Not long ago I did spot a pair circling over Boughton but these may well have been the other birds you mention. It's nice to know that we have these special visitors around!
    I gave up smoking last October and don't get to mooch around outside at work any more!

  4. The Black Kites weren't seen last year but the area holds Marsh Harrier which could be mistaken for Black Kite so I'm guessing that's more likely the bird you've seen but there are also escaped Harris Hawk (common falconers bird) in Kent too so it's possible and this is more likely to sit on the pollarded tree.

  5. I am sure I saw a kite (recognised the tail an wing shapes) as we were driving on M2 near Faversham. It was being bombed by a gull.