Where to see Red Kites

Report sightings sheet,

Please forward any sightings using this sheet, especially for those outside of the Lower Derwent Valley.  This information can prove invaluable to our two Monitoring Teams.  One Team tracks on the north of the A694, the second Team is responsible for the south side.   This is a huge area, so we do value any sightings information which you may be willing to pass on to us via our Webmail.

For the reporting of a grounded or injured red kite please contact Friends of Red Kites on 07790085659 and arrangements will be made to commence recovery of the bird.


 Far Pastures

 Red Kite  Ray Scott


Image courtesy of Ray Scott

We have a visitor!    Paul Ratcliffe noticed this kite near his home and took some photographs which he sent in.  We have contacted Argaty Kites in Doune, mid-Scotland and it is confirmed as a 2012 kite.

Argaty kite 

 In 2012, the Argaty kites were fitted with a red tag on both wings.  This is Wing Tag 3Z.

 The red kites have, for a number of years, attempted to move away from the core area of the lower Derwent Valley.   They are being seen further up on the Pennines, around the Derwent Reservoir.

Derwent Reservoir JA 


Ruins near Blanchland

Images courtesy of June Atkinson

This is ideal habitat in summer, but, as last winter proved, the kites suffered throughout the harsh weather. 

Flame is one of our first-year released kites.   He has been with his mate Ruby, WT 19  for five years.


Read all about this Rowlands Gill  pair here:  http://friendsofredkites.org.uk/page13.htm#a

Red Kite _tail moult Aug 13

           Here is one of our Rowlands Gill kites showing very clearly the tail moult.

Image courtesy of John and Helen Baines, Texas,

on Safari  with  June Atkinson and Harold Dobson, Friends of Red Kites

One of our Rowlands Gill red kites on a favourite perch, enjoying a meal. 

Kite feeding_Rowlands Gill 

Image courtesy of June Atkinson

Our kites are regularly seen in their core area of the Lower Derwent Valley.   They are now mostly brooding young chicks and feeding them.


Golfers at the  Golf Course along the Wynding in Bamburgh reported a red kite which stayed in the vicinity for four hours, giving the players plenty of time to concentrate on a different "birdie".

Kite2_Bill cowings 


Reports have been received  from  staff of The White Monk Tearoom in the village of kites flying overhead.   The Tearoom was the Village School and, with the garden, is a very pleasant place to stop and have a light meal.

Kite_Bill cowings 

Images courtesy of Bill Cowings

 Rowlands Gill

Seen by one of our Monitoring team, flying above the River Derwent .  Is this Golden Glider or a young kite?

Kite Riverside HD 

Image courtesy of Harold Dobson

Far Pastures , Rowlands Gill ,is a good vantage point.  Here, a perched red kite looks in very good form.

Perched Kite  Paul Duncan 

Image courtesy of Paul Duncan

Here is a kite still sporting its transmitter, but no wing tags.   The transmitter, fitted when the chick was released, usually lasts only about two years.  We have no means of identifying this kite now, unless we know of a specific mark or another way of recognising it.

Kite with transmitter Paul duncan 

Image courtesy of Paul Duncan

Muggleswick  Common, on the northern flanks of the Pennines, is currently an area where kites can be seen establishing their territory.

 WT3 Cumbrian kite


Image courtesy of Lee Steadman

Nine Arches Viaduct remains an excellent viewpoint from which to watch the red kites flying.

 Kite at viaduct

Image courtesy of Paul Duncan

Kite over Causey Gill

Kite Causey gill 

Image courtesy of Mick Render

 One of our red kites flying over Kite Hill,  Derwenthaugh.

 Kite over Kite hill

Image courtesy of Carolyn Farthing-Dunn.  

 A sighting of A2  flying in the Rowlands Gill area.

A2 flying  Paul Ratcliffe 

Image courtesy of Paul Ratcliffe

  We have reports of other sightings up on the Pennines.
Muggleswick kite May 12

Muggleswick kite 

Images courtesy of  Andrew Kinghorn


Images   June Atkinson 

This is the view from the cemetery  at Victoria Garesfield.  To the right of the tallest tree the Avenue leading to the Gibside Monument can be seen.  Kites are often seen from here.   This winter there has been a small roost in the woods nearby, the first time a second winter roost has been sustained.

 Images courtesy of June Atkinson

You may even be fortunate enough to have a red kite in your garden.


Image courtesy of Pamela G.

Do you see any of our red kites on a regular basis?  If so, please get in touch via our Webmail.

 Causey Gill, near Beamish in County Durham attracts the kites.   .

 Causey Gill 

Image courtesy of June Atkinson

Here is D5, seen frequently in the Burdon Moor area.

D5 Ron Hindhaugh 

Image courtesy of Ron Hindhaugh

F1 Causey Gill kite

Image courtesy of Mick Render

This is Red Kite F1, born in Causey Gill.

Kite No:


Wing Tag Left/Right:

Pink / White

Kite Name:

No name given


2011 Causey, Co Durham




Father- WT84 Shiver / Mother- WT R/P T2


Brief Summary:

When WTF1 was tagged, along with sibling WTF0 and a third untagged chick, the nest was found in a Sycamore tree. WTF1's mother is a 2007 kite from the mid Scotland project, her wing tags are Red and Purple. WTF1 can only be identified by a visual sighting.

WTF1 has since been seen at the winter pre-roost at Hollinside Manor.


  Image based on Google maps

The map below shows the re-introduction project locations nationally plus the Welsh population.  

Friends of Red Kites are dedicated to continuing the care and conservation of the Derwent Valley Red Kites which were established by the five-year Northern Kites Project.

Image courtesy of June Atkinson


Even in death,  Wing Tag 11, Spark flies as an ambassador for the

Red Kites at the Great North Museum.

Released on 19th July, 2004, Wing Tag 11, a male, was adopted by Harlow Green Junior School, Gateshead (now Harlow Green Primary School).  The pupils named him Spark.

WingTag 11 Spark

Image courtesy of Friends of Red Kites archive (donated by Northern Kites)

Spark spent his first few weeks after release in the lower Derwent valley.  In August he ventured east and unfortunately became the victim of a road traffic accident on the A1 in the Team Valley.  Veterinary examination revealed a cracked wing bone and after six months of rehabilitation was released back to the wild on 19th April 2005.

Unfortunately, he was taken back into captivity a few days later, after being picked up by a member of the public.  After a further two weeks of rehabilitation, and an attempted 'soft -release', with ongoing access to food and an aviary, he was eventually re-captured and taken for further examination and treatment to the London Zoo animal hospital. Here, he was found to have a severe 'leg' infection (nothing to do with the original injuries) and in July, after treatment, was recovering well.

In late July 2005, he returned to the northeast for further rehabilitation in captivity.  In autumn 2005, he was joined in his aviary by WT78, a female also requiring rehabilitation. It was hoped, with regular exercise, that Spark's flight muscles would build up sufficiently so he could be released back to the wild.

Sadly, Spark died of natural causes in mid-June 2007.
  It was decided to offer Spark to the- then Hancock Museum.  A taxidermist prepared his body and he now flies in the Northumbria section of the re-named Great North Museum.

WT11 Spark

WT 11 Spark 

Images courtesy of June Atkinson, with permission from the Great North Mueum

 In death, Spark continues as an ambassador for the majestic Red Kites to which he belonged.



Back to top