Picture Profile: 1104 Red Kites by Watts Wood [Comberton]. (Milvus milvus)

1104 Red Kites by Watts Wood [Comberton]. (Milvus milvus)

1104 Red Kites by Watts Wood [Comberton]. (Milvus milvus)

Artist Code: 1104. SOLD Completed April 2011. Original water colour on Aquarelle Arches 100% hot pressed cotton rag paper. Unframed size 12” x 16”. Framed size 22″ x 18″  

Sold at St Mary’s Church, Comberton, Christmas Exhibition, November 2018

A chance reading of a story in the Cambridge Evening News of an injured red kite being cared for by the Raptor Foundation (St Ives, Cambs) led to an enquiring email from me to seek permission to take photographs and make sketches of the bird for a future composition. Permission was granted, and I am most grateful to the Raptor Foundation for allowing me access whilst the bird was recuperating. It has taken a couple of years for the painting to be completed, after, in late summer 2010, I saw a red kite flying from Eversden to Lord’s Bridge (where the telescopes are!) and on to Watt’s Wood in Comberton. Artistic license allows two birds to be present. Red kites appear to be increasing in number and flight area, and do a very good job of clearing up the ‘fallen’ in the countryside. The concrete post, and scene beyond, is taken from the south-east corner of Watt’s Wood, looking south towards the telescopes.


I chanced to travel south one day
And paused to ponder on my way
As circling round, with screaming cry
A silhouette high in the sky
Magnificent raptor red-gold bright—
Years have passed since such a sight!