Rap­tor par­adise close to the Welsh bor­der

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - BERNARD JONES

THIS LOVELY, WILD area of Shrop­shire was be­queathed to the Na­tional Trust in 1952 and re­mains an area of rough hill pas­ture con­tain­ing bracken and gorse, to­gether with a stream in the val­ley and a wide va­ri­ety of trees. This is a good bird­ing area so long as you have plenty of en­ergy! The name Hopesay is in­ter­est­ing, too, as the De Say fam­ily owned the area of land called Hope, so it was Hope de Say orig­i­nally. This area re­ally is a rap­tors’ par­adise! Some peo­ple call it Buz­zard coun­try be­cause they are al­ways around but, more and more, we are see­ing the flex­ing and torquing tail of the Red Kite over­head, the totemic bird of Wales, but now well over the bor­der into south­ern Shrop­shire. There is a cer­tain amount of hus­tle and bus­tle from the lo­cal corvids but the Red Kites don’t seem to care! Kestrels are about, too, so make sure you keep a look out for them. It’s dif­fi­cult to take your eye off the sky but there are other birds such as Wheatear (in spring and sum­mer), and Meadow Pipit around. This walk doesn’t cover many miles but it needs a bit of time as it’s very hilly in parts – and you just can’t stop watch­ing those Red Kites!

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