Monday, 1 October 2012

Birds and Kites at South Foreland Lighthouse

This was a fortuitous choice of Kite Flying venue for me as in the morning it allowed me to pursue another of my passions, that of Bird Watching especially as two rarities had been seen in the area. I was hopeful of a wonderful day.

So first off Wendy Alan and I went for a walk over at Bokhill Farm, National Trust land along the cliff tops. We did not find the rarities, however on the way back to the Blue Bird Tea rooms an Osprey flew almost overhead, a fantastic treat for me as it was my first ever Osprey.

We had lunch at the Blue Bird Tea Rooms where we had excellent food (highly recommended) before driving the short distance to the Lighthouse (piccy).


The skies were cloudy and the wind was strong (to say the least) and most kites were struggling, some spars had already broken before our arrival and the only kites not suffering too badly were a couple of Flotails.

Wendy was the photographer for the day, I had brought my bird watching lens which was not the best for low flying kites, she did very well with an unfamiliar camera in highly variable lighting and wind conditions.



I started off with my Seagull up, I have had problems with this in a light wind so I was happy to try it in something stronger. From the picture though I think you can see how strong the wind was and it was very difficult to control, next time I am going to try flying it from a pole.

I decided to try my high wind kite, a small parafoil. It went up easy and I had some fun.

 In the meantime others had also got a nice selection of kites up


Steve and I thought it would be nice to fly both my Red Baron and his Sopwith, so up went my tri-plane. The wing spars must have been close to breaking but “Thank you Spirit of the Air” it stood up quite well to the battering and nothing broke, but the obvious stress did put Steve off flying his bi-plane and today the Red Baron ruled the skies.



 My parafoil had been quite successful so I thought I might try my Purple Morning Glory, it rose majestically, was hit by a change in wind direction and crashed into some brambles, I then succeeded in tying the bridle into lots of neat little knots some with interwoven brambles as I extricated it, repairs in the wind were impossible as any attempt just ended up with more tangles, so I rolled it into a ball and packed it away, a wonderful puzzle to solve on Monday.

One of those that managed to battle the wind successfully was this Mega Sled


A reminder that "One Sky One World" is on Sunday 14th October 2012

The attending public (especially the younger ones) were captivated with the variety of ground pegged inflatables. A selection of which is shown below.



The last few kites to go up were this Dragon of Steve’s looking magnificent

and Mike’s Storm Box.

I also flew my last kite of the day a small plastic bat I found half price in a pound shop, there was a sort of pleasing disparity in the quality of the kite to the line it was on (Dacron 100Kg).

Below are a few of the other kites flown, apologies for the Kites and the fascinating wind chimes that we missed photographing. A final word to Steve is that I checked Birdguides and one of those rarities a Yellow Browed Warbler was apparently in the woods just behind the lighthouse. So close yet so far.

Not an Osprey or a Yellow Browed Warbler



  1. Great blog Kevin, some lovely shots, sorry I could not be there as I had family commitments before my holiday.
    Well done, Mike

  2. Yellow Browed Warbler maybe that s what I heard in the brambles below the lighthouse when i was packing up couldn't see any thing though!!!