“My heart in hiding/Stirred for a bird”

Red kite, photo from BBC website

Photo from BBC website

When we lived in Aberystwyth, long since, there was only a handful of pairs of red kites left in the whole of Britain, living in the remote mid-Wales hills. But we would see kites occasionally gliding down the Ystwyth valley, to scavenge on the town tip next to the sea. The birds are now much more common in Wales, and have been re-introduced into various parts of England too with great success. But it was so surprising, the sheer delight to be driving out to a pub near Cambridge along a back way, turning a slight bend in the road, and — not a dozen yards from the car — a kite was swooping to the grass verge, grabbed its lunch, and magisterially flew slowly on.

How stirring such moments still are.

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