Trefoil Guild

The Gordon trefoil guild met in Wartle Hall recently when Chairman Marty Donaldson welcomed a good turnout of members.

After the business was conducted, a talk followed by Jenny Lemon on the re-introduction of red kites to the Grampian area.

Red kites were prolific in Britain at one time but in the 19th and early 20th century they were killed for their feathers, and their eggs were taken by collectors. There were always some survivors in Wales, but non in Scotland.

The red kite is a large, beautiful bird rather like a buzzard with a wing span of up to six feet. They have brown and red feathers and a very distinctive fan-shaped tail.

The kite mainly lives on road kill such as small rodents, and can often be seen following the plough in order to find worms.

In 2007 a project began in Grampian to re-introduce red kites into the area. Staff at RSPB and volunteers cared for the chicks at a secret location. When they were fully grown, tags were attached to their wings - the year they were born on the right, the left showing the area 101 red kites were released in the area between 2007 and 2009 and by 2011, 30 chicks had been born.

Following this successful reintroduction programme they are becoming a common sight in Aberdeen once more. The project has continued in Grampian and other areas in Britain with amazing success.

The birds have been nesting and breeding in the Grampian area, building their nests which are small for the size of the birds, in open woods. They use twigs, sheep wool and anything they can find including plastic, children’s toys and bits of clothing. Easter Anguston Farm at Culter has been involved with the project – a nest based camera can be viewed at the farm. Schools in the area have also joined in, some adopting a bird, naming it and monitoring its progress.

Marty Donaldson thanked Jenny for the interesting talk and refreshments were enjoyed.

The next meeting will be the AGM on Tuesday, April 10 at 7pm in Dunecht Hall.