'Slow down Milvus!'
I wasn’t prepared! She was flying gracefully towards me, her wings the colour of autumn shone in the golden light of late afternoon.
‘Milvus,’ I whispered, ‘for heaven’s sake take it easy. Give me a chance to reach for my camera!’
But Milvus kept coming and my heart raced with excitement and an overwhelming emotion slowed me down. My camera, where was my camera? With its angled wings and deeply forked tail, I knew, looking down at the old oak woods of Wales that a red kite, Milvus milvus, was flying up through the valley towards me. I fumbled a not so perfect picture then sat myself down to watch these magnificent birds of prey. I was almost afraid to breathe let alone film them, for three others had decided to fly the sky with Milvus.
I have always been fascinated with wild life, but this magnificent bird of prey has captured my imagination and a part of my heart. They fly over our home for waifs and strays but they never loiter, they just come and go while I watch in amazement.
Some of you will know that Shakespeare’s Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, warns that when the kite builds, look to a lesser linen. And perhaps that is so, but these beautiful creatures win brownie points by being carrion eaters and living off road kills rather than killing for their supper.
Once they were almost extinct, now they soar through the skies, giving magnificent performances, free of charge!
‘Fly Milvus,’ I cried later, ‘fly into the sunset!’ Oh how I wished in that moment that I too could fly with her, over the oak woods towards the sun!’