I was listening to a BBC Wildlife podcast the other day, and one of the guests was asked to talk about good news nature stories, to make up for all of the doom and gloom climate change news that surrounds us every day. I think they had a very good point. This is not to say that the doom and gloom may not have some basis in fact, but not everything is bad news.
One of the news stories that I am beginning to take for granted now is the return of the Buzzard. The use of DDT and illegal killing by farmers made the buzzard a rarity outside of Wales. In the last 5 or 10 years, they have become much more commonplace to the point where I expect to see one nearly every time I drive anywhere outside Daventry (and I have seen them above the fields surrounding Daventry as well, it is just they are a more of an open countryside kind of a bird). In fact I saw two yesterday perched in a tree minding their own business.
Another large predator which is being helped in its spread back across the British Isles is the Red Kite. These are magnificent birds, and, until recently I had only ever seen one in mid Wales. However, they are becoming a little more widespread, especially along the M4 corridor. Yesterday, in one of my rare journeys that took me more than 20 miles from home (I was on business and it was a pointless trip, as is so often the case) I saw a large bird ahead with a long tail. I hoped and slowed down a little, and, yes it was a red kite, just over the border in Oxfordshire. It made my trip suddenly more worthwhile and less frustrating!