It was not long ago that the red kite (Milvus milvus) was on the verge of extinction in the British Isles due to excessive persecution but conservation work initially in Wales which led to re introductions in other areas, notably the Thames Valley, has seen a dramatic reversal of this species fortunes and in some places they are now actually common, even coming into gardens in some places. Being scavengers rather than hunters helping the red kite back to good numbers was relatively simple, it will be less so for many other hunting species.
The increase numbers of red kites mean that they are slowly spreading out from the areas they were introduced back in to and now nest in Hampshire and are being seen more often in Dorset, although they are still far from common here.
The red kite is quite a distinctive bird. Usually seen in flight with wings outstretched, with the observer looking up at the underside, there is a white triangle in the wing and it looks almost as of there has been a loss of feathers creating a gap in the wings. This mark is quite unique; you could say it is a kite mark!Red Kite: the kite mark