A HALSTEAD family were surprised to spot a rare bird flying in fields near their garden.
Gareth and Lisa Wilson, of Slough Farm Road, started seeing red kites near their house a couple of weeks ago.
However, the couple, who have two children, Jack, five, and ten-year-old Evie, were unable to capture them on camera until Tuesday when they saw seven buzzards playing and then the elusive red kite flew in.
Mr Wilson, 42, a retained firefighter in Halstead, was able to take several photos of the kite and the buzzards.
Teaching assistant Mrs Wilson, 36, said: “We have seen them a few times.
I’m not sure if it has been the same kite, but I think it might be as there aren’t many around here.
“We were looking in the fields and then saw them. Kites were endangered so it is quite unusual to see them. We recognised it was something different as it was quite low and we watched it for a while and then went in and looked it up in the bird book.
“We aren’t really big birdwatchers, although my husband is more so than the rest of us. It is just interesting and the children like watching the wildlife as well.”
Once a very rare bird that could only be found in central Wales, the red kite has been successfully reintroduced to several areas of the UK and can now be seen in parts of Scotland, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and the Chilterns, according to the Essex Wildlife Trust.
Red kites were routinely persecuted as hunters of game and domestic animals, but they are in fact scavengers, eating carrion and scraps, and taking only small prey like rabbits for themselves. They are classified as near threatened and as an amber list species.